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S. G. & E. L. ELBERT 



SERMONS 



OTHER DISCOURSES. 



BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL HINTS. 

BY 

BERIAH G-REETSJ" 



gtb-gork : 

S. W. GREEN, No. 18 JACOB STREET. 



1800. 



TO 

ALL THE NAMES, 

DEAR AND CHERISHED, 
WHICH FILIALLY GATHER, AS THEY MAY FIND OPPORTUNITY, 
AROUND THE HEARTHSTONE AND TABLE 



OF THE 




"i leave you here a little book 
For you to look upon, 
That you may see your Father's face, 
"When he is dead and gone." 



PREFACE. 



This Volume I certainly should not have published, if I had 
not thought it worthy of the study of those whose attention it 
might attract. From the thoughts which it suggests, the illus- 
trations which it furnishes, the conclusions which it commends, 
I have derived strength, encouragement, refreshment and inspira- 
tion. Why may I not hope that it will produce some such effect 
on others, who may peruse its pages ? How large a reward 
might not thus crown my exertions ! 

Criticism I neither deprecate nor defy. Why should I ? The 
reader, whoever he may be, will of course dispose of my para- 
graphs u according to his ability." Why should I object? I 
offer to address my fellows : why should I shrink from any re- 
plies, which they may be disposed to urge ? How can I expect 
that they will weigh my words, if I refuse needfully to listen to 
theirs ? 

Some names I am able to repeat, who will very cordially wel- 
come the appearance of this Volume. They have encouraged me 
to publish it ; and in various ways afforded me sympathy and 
cooperation. May they derive from the perusal of these pages 
the influence, which the production of them has exerted on me ! 

BERIAH GREEN. 

Whitesboro, 1860. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Charles B. Storks, 6 

Christian Obligations, 8 

Discussion on Slavery, in Western Reserve College, . 29 

Standard of Reform, 36 

A Timely Testimony, , 60 

The Oneida Institute, 61 

Inaugural Address, 62 

Defence of the Oneida Institute, ...... 77 

God and Humanity, 89 

Work and Wages, • . .106 

The Great Conspiracy, . . . . . . . 127 

Staff of Accomplishment, 144 

Ten Years in the Oneida Institute, . • . . . 164 

To the Regents, 187 

Success, # 204 

Charles Follen, 226 

Reply to Presbytery, ........ 230 

Iniquity and a Meeting, 243 

Slavery not in the New Testament, . • . . 265 

Idea of Civil Government, 286 

Faith and Infidelity, 309 

The Same in Sunshine and in Storm, ..... 333 

Slavery, " • . . 359 

Personality and Property, 380 

Ideas and Phenomena, ....... 401 

The Light of Loyalty, 424 

Let the Dead bury their Dead, . . • . . 450 

Office of Faith, 482 

The Liar, . 507 

Redemption, 530 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



I WAS born in New-England ; on the lean soil and 
among the rocks and hills and streams of Connecticut. 
My infancy and childhood were spent among those 
who found wakeful industry, well conducted and strict 
frugality resolutely maintained, requisite to a liveli- 
hood. My kindred on all sides and of both sexes 
were inured to manual labor, to which I was early 
introduced. They belonged ecclesiastically, without 
any exception, to the M standing order" — to commu- 
nities bearing the name of Congregationalists. I was 
" from my youth up" accustomed to look up to pulpits 
where an influence decidedly Calvinistic was exerted. 
About the time, when u I came of age," I sometimes 
heard preachers who had been trained in the school of 
Dr. Emmons. They were generally regarded as carry- 
ing the doctrines of Calvin to an extreme altogether 
rigid. I remember that they won my respect and con- 
fidence — that I listened to them eagerly and gladly. 
The name of Samuel Hopkins, I was accustomed to 
repeat with veneration ; and to read the pages which 
he had published with marked complacency. In pre- 
paring for the pulpit, I pursued the course usually 



6 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



preferred in the religious circle to which I belonged. 
In college and in the theological seminary, I was ear 
nestly, almost sternly Calvinistic. My career as a 
preacher, I commenced in New-England; and was 
surely orthodox enough. As such, I was decided, 
wide-awake, outspoken. The principles to which I 
had subscribed, the lessons I had learned, the conclu- 
sions I had welcomed, I regarded as full of vitality — 
as every way and in a high degree of healthful ten- 
dency. They were among my thoughts essential to 
the Christian scheme of instruction and redemption. 
How could I help insisting on them with frequent and 
solemn emphasis ? When their claims were to be dis- 
posed of, I promptly and warmly eschewed any form 
of compromise, from whatever quarter it might pro- 
ceed, and for whatever purpose it might be urged. I 
devoted myself to what I took to be my appropri- 
ate work cheerfully, conscientiously and resolutely. 
"Whatever strength I was able, with an ever-wakeful 
regard to the laws of health, to wield, I earnestly de 
voted in the study and in the pulpit to the duties of 
my profession. I took great pains in such methods as 
to me seemed well-advised to extend my influence and 
render it effective. To German writers, especially in 
the sphere of Sacred Literature, I turned an open, 
longing eye. I was welcomed to the pulpit in one 
parish and another, and listened to with encouraging 
attention. I had invitations from various quarters 
within and without New-England to assume pastoral 
responsibilities. A place in one and another theologi- 
cal seminary was offered me ; a place, which at the 
instance of the late Charles B. Storrs, I once accepted 
in the institution over which he presided. His name 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



7 



I cannot repeat without lingering on it tenderly, grate- 
fully, reverently. Eminently good, wise and strong, 
he exerted an influence over a wide field of activity 
equally hallowed, powerful and healthful. How can 
one remember how great-souled, how heroic he was — 
remember his clear and vigorous understanding, his 
pure and warm affections, his large and quick sym- 
pathies, his comprehensive, unyielding integrity, his 
grand magnanimity, his lofty aims, his wide and va- 
rious activity, his high culture, his commanding bear- 
ing — how can one remember what he was and how he 
exerted himself, without deep and grateful emotion ! 
His friendship I number among the choicest blessings 
with which my life has been enriched ; a friendship 
which he hallowed with his warm benediction even 
when the hand of death lay heavy on his vitals. 
Blessed now and evermore be thy cherished memory, 

my brother ! 

The sermon on Christian Obligation, which stands 
first in this volume, was published in the National 
Preacher during my connection with the "Western Ee- 
serve College. It fairly illustrates the position which 

1 then felt impelled to maintain among the highest of 
human relations. I then sought and expected to find 
a home — protection, nourishment and repose in the 
sphere of orthodoxy. I had no reason to complain of 
the welcome which was there afforded me. 



CHRISTIAN OBLIGATIONS. 



"For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For 
■whether we live, we live unto the Lord ; and whether we die, we 
die unto the Lord ; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the 
Lord's.''— Rom. 14 : 7, 8. 

This passage contains a comprehensive description 
of Christian obligation and character. The good man 
refuses to " live unto himself." In all his designs and 
movements he feels bound to act a with an eye single" 
to the glory of the Saviour and the extension of his 
kingdom. 

Thus briefly explained, this passage lays the founda- 
tion for the following statement, which it is my present 
purpose to illustrate and apply : The friends of the Lord 
Jesus ought to devote themselves without the slightest hesi- 
tation or the least reserve to the single object of strengthen- 
ing the interests and extending the limits of the Christian 
Church. A construction is often put upon the obliga- 
tions asserted in this statement, which makes them rest 
easy upon the conscience of the lax professor. This 
construction may be thus given : We ought in our 
hearts to give up ourselves — all we are and all we 
have — to the Saviour, with the resolution, if God re- 
quires, actually to make the surrender. Thus many a 
professed Christian is ready to rejoice that he has fallen 
upon better times than those in which others have been 
led to prison and to death. He rejoices, that besides 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



9 



the demands which his religious profession has upon 
him, he is permitted to have another department of 
interest and exertion. After devoting a small portion 
of his income to the support of Christian institutions 
at home and abroad, he is happy to think that he may 
expend his strength in enlarging his possessions — in 
securing the luxuries and elegancies of life — and in 
accumulating an inheritance for his children. This is 
a construction of the Christian's obligations, as mis- 
chievous as it is false. It has furnished a pillow on 
which not a few professed disciples lay their heads in 
deep slumber, while the perils of perdition thicken 
around them ! They are invited to contemplate their 
obligations under a very different construction. Ac- 
cording to this, they ought actually to devote them- 
selves, in the strictest sense of the thrilling terms ; they 
ought actually to devote themselves " arm and 
soul," to the interests of the Church. The meaning of 
this language I hope to place beyond the reach of mis- 
apprehension. 

I know a man belonging to the class which is called 
indigent. For the support of his growing family he 
depends, under God, upon his daily industry. He 
is a Christian. And when at the missionary meeting 
he threw a dollar into the treasury of the Lord, he 
thus explained the grounds on which he proceeded : 
" All I am, and all I have, I have joyfully devoted to 
him who redeemed me with his blood. I am under 
the most sacred obligations to do what I can to promote 
his kingdom. From these obligations I cannot, would 
not break away. I cannot help then, tasking my in- 
genuity and urging my powers to the utmost, to fur- 
nish my proportion of the means of diffusing far and 
i* 



10 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



wide the sweet influence of Christian truth. What 
that proportion is, it may help me to determine, to 
reflect upon the exertions I certainly should make to 
redeem a child from servitude. Poor as I am, I know 
full well that by practising the most wakeful industry 
and the most rigid economy, I should be able, besides 
supporting my family, to raise a considerable sum 
every year for such an object And, oh ! can I do less to 
save a world weltering in its own blood, from the hor- 
rors of eternal death !" 

Another man I know, who has a full competence. 
He also is a Christian. He thinks it not enough to 
maintain among his fellow-men a reputable profession. 
" Bought with a price,' 7 how can he think himself his 
own? Whatever he is and has, he resolves shall be 
sacred to the Saviour. In the general outline and 
minute details of business he feels himself bound, con- 
tinually, to act with a direct and honest reference to 
the welfare of the Church. When he sows, and when 
he reaps his fields ; whenever he goes a journey, and 
whenever he makes a contract ; in the style of his 
living, and in the education of his children, he is 
governed in every movement by strong desires to ex- 
tend the kingdom of the Saviour. For this he " lives." 
Here is the spring of his activity — the source of his 
enjoyment. 

The other man, you see, is a " wealthy disciple." 
He is one of the few, who, in despite of the obstacles 
thrown in the rich man's course, is making progress in 
the 11 strait and narrow way." A happy exposition 
of the principles on which, as a Christian, he feels 
bound to act, you may find in a short address once 
made to his collected family. " It is my distinguished 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



U 



privilege," he said, "to be a Christian. Alas ! how few 
who are held by the same embarrassments, rejoice in 
the same hopes ! May I never for a moment cease to 
feel the peculiar obligations under which discriminat- 
ing grace has placed me ! What return can I make, 
as a proper expression of gratitude and love to my 
gracious Benefactor? I am his, wholly bis, his for- 
ever. You would not expect, you would not desire, 
that your father, held by such obligations, would con- 
sult his own ease, or your natural propensities. Your 
father is a Christian. He may not live to himself. 
The large resources whicli are placed within his reach 
are sacred to the Saviour. To appropriate them as an 
inheritance to you would be little less than sacrilege. 
Know then, that from your father you may expect 
whatever may contribute to form your character on 
the Christian model. The best means of mental and 
moral discipline he will promptly furnish. He will 
not fail to do his utmost to prepare you to be exten- 
sively useful and happy in the stations which may be 
allotted you. But further than this he cannot go. 
The Church is required by her Lord to put forth an 
agonizing effort to save a sinking world. God forbid 
that I should be wanting to this effort. My time, in- 
fluence and property I cannot withhold. It is my 
duty and privilege to bring forward whatever acquisi- 
tions I can command, to meet the various claims of my 
Christian profession." Illustrations such as these may 
sufficiently explain the obligations asserted in the 
statement with which this discourse begins. 

Of the truth of this statement, strong presumptive 
evidence may be found in the fact, that to every professed 
Christian is furnished in the providence of God a sphere 



12 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



of exertion in building up the Church, which demands tJte 
highest exercise of all the powers he may possess. A com- 
pany of firemen with their enginery gather round a 
house. At different points the smoke already begins 
to issue through the covering. Here and there the 
pent-up flame fitfully breaks forth. The proprietor is 
at a distance — the family are asleep — the neighborhood 
is unalarmed. These men are trained to the work of 
contending with the flames — the agency through which 
they may exert their powers with decision and effect is 
fully within their reach — a sphere of exertion is open 
before them, which demands the highest efforts they 
are able to put forth. Can they doubt for a single 
moment what they ought to do ? Are not their obli- 
gations to exert every power clearly written out on 
the smoking building before them ? 

Take another case. A surgeon, a physician, and 
their attendants enter a hospital. Here lies a wretch 
with a mangled leg, and there another with a broken 
arm. On that heap of straw lies a poor creature, well- 
nigh consumed with a burning fever ; and at no great 
distance beyond, a companion in affliction ready to die 
through mere neglect. Can these men, skilled as they 
are in the healing art, doubt what they ought to do ? 
Do not the imploring looks, the deep groans, the 
wasted frames of the sufferers before them urge home 
their obligations clearly, impressively, powerfully? 
Will not the sphere of usefulness on which they have 
entered, constrain them to see and feel that a demand 
is made for whatever of professional skill and activity 
they are able to employ ? 

Contemplate, Christian brethren, the circumstances 
in which the providence of God has placed you. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



13 



Behold a world " lying in wickedness." There, at a 
distance, wrapped in the gloom of the shadow of 
death, are unnumbered pagans. Here, near at hand, 
are young communities, growing settlements, feeble 
churches, "ready to perish" for the bread of life. 
Does not every object which you see, and every sound 
which you hear, urge you to do what you can to save 
a dying world ? Are you qualified to preach the Gos- 
pel ? Have you received a discipline, intellectual and 
moral, which has fitted you to explain, apply, and en- 
force the truths of the Bible ? And can you not see 
and feel that to this work you ought to devote your 
time and strength, cordially, skilfully, untiringly ? 
How can you indulge in literary leisure, engage in 
secular employments, toil for the luxuries of life, while 
those who are "bone of your bone and flesh of your 
flesh" are sinking by hundreds and thousands to per- 
dition for want of the aid which you are able to assist 
in furnishing ? How can you help feeling called upon 
as by a thousand voices breaking on your ears in tones 
of deep distress, to rise up and toil to the utmost of 
your powers for guilty, bleeding humanity ! 

Or it may be that you are distinguished for skill and 
experience in forming the young mind to habits of 
correct thought and feeling. You are qualified to ar- 
rest and fix their attention, to interest and animate 
their minds ; to urge home with warm affections and 
arousing pungency the healing truths of the Gospel. 
Extend your view, then, to the " Valley of the Missis- 
sippi." Behold the multitudes of youth and children! 
Here, their education is utterly neglected ; there, it is 
entirely perverted. In one place, they are left to wan- 
der in ignorance, and become the prey of some artful 



14 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



superstition ; in another, the life-blood is poisoned at 
the fountain by infidelity. And yet these young 
minds, thus neglected or perverted, are, under God, at 
no distant day, to give shape to the destinies of this 
mighty nation ! Can you think of this, and not see a 
sphere of exertion which loudly and imperiously de- 
mands the exercise of all your powers ? Now extend 
the limits of your field of observation. A world is 
before you. Unnumbered millions of young immor- 
tals stretch out their hands, and by signs of distress 
which cannot be mistaken, implore assistance. And 
can you doubt whether you ought to make sacrifices, 
and submit to self-denial — to task every power of mind 
and body to afford relief? 

Or ; perhaps, you are distinguished by elevated sta- 
tion; weight of character ; extent of influence. Your 
name is known, your opinions are quoted, your views 
are adopted by a large circle. Look upon your right 
hand and left. Wherever you go do you not behold 
appalling monuments of hostility to the Son of God ? 
At the inn, in the stage, on board the steamboat ; in the 
fashionable circle and the literary club ; in the hall of 
legislation, and on the seat of j ustice, do you not often 
see your Saviour contradicted, opposed, derided? 
And can you look on without emotion ? Are not ap- 
peals thus sent home to your souls, calling you to 
stand up in defence of the name and truth of your 
Redeemer? Ought you not to put forth prompt, de- 
cisive, untiring efforts to purify public sentiment? 
Can you hesitate a moment on the question of your 
obligations ? 

Or perhaps you are affluent. Oh ! then, consider the 
wants of the Church, and the miseries of the world I 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



15 



Mark the condition of the various institutions around 
you whose object and tendency are to diffuse the light 
of life. See by what embarrassments their movements 
are retarded. Can you look upon their exhausted trea- 
suries without feeling your obligations to consecrate 
your gold and silver to the service of your Lord? 
Ought you not to lay your accumulated treasures at 
the foot of the cross — to devote your shining dust to 
the great work of extending the triumphs of your 
King? 

Whatever, fellow-Christians, may be the stations 
which you occupy ; whatever the means of usefulness 
you can command; the spheres of Christian effort 
opened before you clearly and impressively require 
you to devote all you are and all you have to the 
single object of building up the Church. 

A second argument, to sustain the statement at the 
beginning of this discourse, may be found in the design 
of the probation, by which the Church, considered collectivt}- 
ly or individually, is to be trained up for heaven. As 
individuals, Christians are to be trained up in the 
Church, to find their happiness in the service and 
enjoyment of God. In this, heaven itself consists. 
There, the disciples of the Saviour behold the glory 
of their Lord. There, " his servants serve him." To 
find in his service the source of eternal blessedness; 
to find in his presence the fountain of life, our charac- 
ter must be conformed to his. Otherwise his service 
would disgust us — his presence would torment us. 
Now, just so far as we are under the control of that 
benevolence which appropriately expresses itself in 
exertions to build up the Church, just so far is our cha- 
racter conformed to the Divine. And in whatever 



16 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



degree we are selfish, in the same degree must we be 
•unable to find our happiness in God. And nothing 
but selfishness can lead us to cultivate a field of exertion 
and maintain a department of interest separate from the 
kingdom of heaven. A just estimate of the different 
objects to which we are related — of the different inter- 
ests in which we are concerned, would constrain us to 
regard ourselves in all our plans and movements as 
entirely subservient to the glory of his name and the 
advancement of his cause. Practically to regard our- 
selves in this light is to be benevolent — is to be like God. 
That discipline which is fitted to bring us thus to 
regard ourselves, is adapted to the design of the pro- 
bation in which we are placed. And this discipline is 
involved in the obligations which bind us to consecrate our- 
selves ivithout hesitation or reserve as a living sacrifice to 
God. Those who yield to these obligations secure this 
discipline. Its healthful influence reaches their inmost 
hearts. The plague which was preying on their vitals 
is staid. Life throbs through all their veins. They 
" are strong in the Lord." The image of the Saviour 
in all its beauty smiles through all their " inner man." 
They already enter into the sympathies and breathe 
the spirit of their brethren in heaven. And when 
they pass from probationary scenes, they will be pre- 
pared to enter into "the joys of their Lord." 

As Christian communities, if they would answer the 
end of their probation, the churches must devote them- 
selves altogether to the service of Christ. They are 
here to be trained up in their collective capacity and 
social interests, for the everlasting employments and 
joys of the upper world. This can be done only by a 
discipline which will bring their feelings to flow forth 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



17 



in the same strain with delightful harmony — all their 
powers to act in the same direction, in full, unbroken 
concert. But this precious result can never be pro- 
duced, while they "look every one upon his own 
things." While to any extent they allow themselves to 
pursue selfish designs, harsh discord must interrupt or 
mar the songs of Zion. Separate interests — private 
objects, will set brother against brother — discord will 
rend the Church. Of the truth of these statements, 
what frightful illustrations may be found on almost 
every page of our history. 

To be prepared for the harmony of heaven, pro- 
fessed Christians must receive the very discipline 
which an entire consecration to their Saviour's service 
affords. Mark the movements and study the character 
of a Christian community, to which a description like 
the following may be justly applied. The object 
which attracts their attention, and engrosses their af- 
fections, and calls forth all their active powers, is the 
extension and prosperity of Zion. Every man, wo- 
man, and child in this community, keeps his eye upon 
this object, as the end of his existence. To advance 
the common design, they all seek and find, each his 
proper place, the sphere best suited to his own talents 
and means of usefulness. Whatever of intellectual 
vigor, of mental acquisition, of impressive eloquence — 
whatever weight of authority, extent of influence, 
amount of property — whatever sagacity, skill, and 
energy they may possess, they bring directly and un- 
ceasingly to bear upon the great enterprise in which 
they are engaged. From this they never turn their 
eyes — never withdraw their hands. Now tell me, is 
not this community acting under an influence which 



IS 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



binds them together as by golden bonds ? Must they 
not see eye to eye? Must not heart mingle with 
heart ? Will they not bow, as by a common impulse, 
before the throne of the Messiah ? Will not the same 
desires move their hearts? — the same songs flow from 
their lips ? Will not the same living peace pervade 
every heart — soothe every bosom — smile upon every 
countenance ? And when you look upon this commu- 
nity, you cannot help recognizing the image of heaven. 
They are prepared, as a body, when they reach the 
presence of their King, to fall each into his appropriate 
place and act in concert in fulfilling his sovereign will. 
They have secured the very discipline which the holy 
employments and joys of the upper world demand. 

A third argument, sustaining the same position, 
may be found in the conditions on which ive are required 
to lay hold of the benefits offered in the Gospel Consider, 
brethren, the import and bearing of the following 
piercing words, from the Saviour's lips. "He that 
loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy 
of me ; and he that loveth son or daughter more than 
me, is not worthy of me ; and he that taketh not up 
his cross and folio weth after me, is not worthy of me. 
He that findeth his life, shall lose it ; and he that loseth 
his life for my sake, shall find it." Strong language ! 
And yet not too strong to describe the conditions on 
which the benefits of redeeming mercy may be secured. 
The glory of your King, the extension of his sway, 
the fulfilment of his designs, you are to prefer to the 
dearest earthly gratification — to the highest worldly 
interest. The ties which bind you to the nearest rela- 
tive — your hold on life itself, you must break asunder, 
if the interests of the kingdom of heaven demand the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



19 



effort. Wherever you may go, you must bear around 
a cross, prepared at any time to "be lifted up upon it." 
Nor can you think these hard conditions on which to 
receive the offer of eternal life till you forget the aton- 
ing agonies which broke the heart of our great High- 
priest. 

Now it was a leading object of the Saviour to be the 
"light of the world." To this object his labors and 
sufferings were directed. The balm of life he would 
offer to a bleeding world. It is his sovereign will, that 
to all the human family infected " with the plague of 
the heart," his healing power should be proclaimed. 
His gracious heart is set upon bringing all nations 
under the shadow of his throne. Whoever, then, loves 
the Son of God more than every other object will feel 
himself constrained at all times and in every thing to 
act with simple reference to the prosperity of his 
kingdom. This reference will give shape to every 
plan, and force to every movement. Is he engaged 
" in business" ? He will see that its claims and ten- 
dencies do not interfere with his obligations to the 
Saviour. Whatever goes to diminish his influence as 
a Christian, he will promptly avoid. The means re- 
quisite to enlighten his understanding, to keep his con- 
science wakeful and tender — to bring his heart under 
the full control of Christian motives, he will not fail at 
any expense of time and strength to employ. When- 
ever the question arises — and such questions will arise 
— whether he shall lay out his resources in gratifying 
taste, in humoring appetite, in pampering passion, in 
feeding avarice in himself and children, or in efforts to 
build up the Church, he will not long hesitate. He 
will not forget the cross which his profession requires 



20 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



liim to bear. How can he toil for the elegancies and 
luxuries of life ; gratify the demands of ambition or 
cupidity; or divide his substance among worldly- 
minded heirs ; and still be complying with the condi- 
tions on which the smiles of Messiah are dispensed ? 

In this connection, it may be proper to repeat an- 
other declaration of the Saviour. " "Whosoever he be 
of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot 
be my disciple." "Whoever will examine this declar- 
ation in the connection to which it belongs, will see 
that it involves a clear exposition of the terms of 
Christian discipleship. Along with this statement it 
may be well to contemplate the practical application 
of the general principle it contains, which the Saviour 
himself has given us. A young man of fair morals 
and amiable spirit once presented to him the inquiry, 
"What shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?'' 
Our Lord first directed his attention to the obligations 
which grew out of the relations he sustained to his 
fellow-men. Upon this, the young man assured him 
that to these obligations he had ever paid a practical 
regard. The amiable aspect of his character attracted 
the Saviours love ; and he immediately called his at- 
tention to the great principles on which Christian cha- 
racter is formed, and on which Christian hopes may be 
justly cherished. Hitherto only the relations which 
man sustains to man had been brought to view. The 
principle, just alluded to, then was presented in a form 
modified by these relations. " Go thy way, sell what- 
soever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt 
have treasure in heaven, and come take up thy cross 
and follow me." With the condition of salvation, im- 
plied in this direction, the youth refused to comply. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



21 



He clung to his wealth at the expense of his soul. If 
he must devote himself entirely to the cause of bene- 
volence or make shipwreck of his hope of heaven, 
his hope of heaven, though with many tears, he was 
prepared to relinquish. 

What think ye, Christian brethren, of this practical 
exposition of the conditions, on which you are to be 
admitted to the fountain of life ? Say not that its appli- 
cation was peculiar to the poor young man to whom it 
was first applied. You cannot help seeing, that the 
exposition just covers the ground furnished by the 
abstract principle already quoted. The principle, then, 
with its exposition, belongs to you — belongs to every 
professed Christian. Take home, then, to your inmost 
thoughts the condition on which the life of your souls 
is suspended. 

What, friends of the Lord Jesus, will you do with 
your wealth, your talents, your influence ? Will you 
live merely or chiefly to promote your own private 
interests ? Will you extend your possessions for the 
sake of exulting in affluence? Will you increase 
your influence for the sake of bending your fellow- 
men to your designs? Will you seek an exalted 
station for the sake of enjoying the pomp of place? 
Ah! brethren, this you may not do without drawing 
down the curse of Jesus Christ. If you would have 
his smiles, you must yield up your souls to the control 
of that charity which brought him from the bosom of 
blessedness to the agonies of crucifixion. You must 
live for the single purpose of doing good. Whatever 
strength you have you must freely expend in urging 
forward the triumphal chariot of the Messiah. 

In this connection, the last injunction which fell 



22 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



from the Mediator's lips well deserves attention. " Go 
ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every 
creature." The obligations of this command reach 
every professed Christian. It may be said that they 
direct their binding influence especially to Christian 
ministers. It may be so. What then ? Are not their 
Christian brethren held by the same solemn bonds to 
furnish the ministers of Christ with whatever means 
are requisite to enable them to offer the "bread of life" 
to the famishing nations? "Who goeth a warfare at 
his own charges ?" The great work of gathering the 
human family around the cross lies fully before every 
friend of Jesus. In this work he is bound by the 
authority of God to engage with a zeal and resolution 
proportioned to the magnitude of the task imposed 
upon him. Remember, then, Christian brethren, that 
your "field is the world." A frightful majority of the 
human family are shrouded in gloom, palpable as the 
darkness which once oppressed Egypt. It is yours 
to offer them the "light of life." While you linger, 
myriads fall to rise no more. With your utmost 
efforts, a multitude " which no man can number" will 
miserably perish before your hands can reach them. 
With every breath you draw, they are sinking by 
thousands into the abyss! Your Saviour bids you 
haste to their relief — to snatch them from ruin, "as 
brands from the burning." If they die through your 
neglect, you must answer for their blood ! What, then, 
ought you to do ? To stand unmoved amid the ruins 
of the world ! With the censer in your hand, will you 
refuse to rush in "between the living and the dead," 
to contend with " the plague" which is every moment 
sweeping thousands to an untimely grave ? And for 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



23 



what? That you may be at ease? That you may heap 
up golden dust ? That you may attract the gaze of 
admiration ? That you may crush your children with 
the weight of an inheritance ? And will you sell n the 
souls for which Christ died," for such trifles as these? 
This you cannot do without casting off your allegiance 
to Christ and breaking the ties which bind you to his 
throne. 

A fourth argument adapted to convince professed 
Christians that they ought thus unreservedly to conse- 
crate themselves to the service of the Church, may be 

found in THE EXAMPLE OF THE BEST MEN, who have 

risen np from time to time to bless mankind. The ex- 
ample of the man Christ Jesus shines with peculiar 
lustre. Oh ! let us keep our eyes upon it ! He came 
into the world to place the Church on a foundation 
which could not be shaken. Now trace his course, 
from the manger to the cross — from the cross to the 
mediatorial throne. How is every footstep marked, 
every movement distinguished by entire consecration 
to the kingdom of heaven ! How did the most vehe- 
ment desires for the immortal happiness of man move 
his soul ! With what ardor did his affections cleave to 
this object ! How studiously and skilfully did he im- 
prove every opportunity and employ every agency, 
which might promote his design ! When did he shun 
an effort, however expensive ; decline self-denial, how- 
ever trying; shrink from sacrifices, however great, 
which the glory of God and the " saving health of 
nations" required ? Surely not when in solitary places 
he poured out his soul in prayer at midnight ! or when 
"he went about doing good!" or when he "endured 
the contradiction of sinners !" or when he lay prostrate 



2i 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



in agony at his Father's feet in the garden ! or when 
he meekly bore the taunts and jeers and bufferings of 
his accusers in the judgment hall ! or when in agonies 
unutterable, he "gave up the ghost" upon the cross! 
" Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid 
down his life for us ; and we ought to lay dowx 

OUR LIVES FOR THE BRETHREN/' 

And what shall we say of the example which the 
primitive churches set ? Observe with what devoted- 
ness they cling to the heavenly cause. Their time, sub- 
stance, influence are sacred to the Saviour. " Of one 
heart they have all things common. 5 ' "Whatever the 
common interest demands, each in his proper place is 
forward to supply. They "take joyfully the spoiling 
of their goods ;'' they welcome the prison, embrace the 
stake, when their Christian profession requires the sa- 
crifice. Are these your oicn brethren ? Trace their 
shining course ; and answer the inquiry. 

Read the history of the Apostle to the Gentiles. How 
he breathes the spirit of Christian heroism. Now he 
encounters the perils of the deep, and now the dangers 
of the wilderness. He welcomes heat and cold, hunger 
and thirst in his sacred work. He shakes the lean 
hand of poverty — meets the frowning face of opposition. 
He breaks through every embarrassment, and rises 
above every obstacle. "One thing he does." And to 
this one thing all he is and has is cordially devoted. 
"Brethren," you may hear him say, "be followers of me" 

And what shall we say of the course of our mission- 
ary brethren, who are carrying the lamp of truth to 
the "dark places of the earth"? Were they to keep 
back aught "that they possess," should we be slow to 
expose in pointed terms their delinquency ? We re- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



25 



quire them " to know nothing save Jesus Christ and 
him crucified " — to live merely to extend the triumphs 
of the cross. But say, brethren, are they held by obli- 
gations from which you are free? Were they bought 
with richer blood — with severer agonies than you? 
Was higher grace displayed in the means employed to 
bring them to the Saviours feet — to raise them to the 
hope of heaven, than has been bestowed on you ? Do 
they need a more rugged discipline than you to wean 
them from the world — to fix their hearts upon an en- 
during treasure? Do not you live under the same 
government ? Are you not bound by the same laws ? 
Let such inquiries receive an honest answer. You can- 
not help seeing that you ought, in your own proper 
sphere, to be as much devoted to the kingdom of 
heaven, as the most laborious and self-denied mis- 
sionary. 

The truth of all this some of your brethren engaged 
in secular as well as sacred employments, have already 
welcomed. Their daily business they have learned to 
transact with an "eye single to the glory of God." 
They push forward their designs with promptness and 
energy, merely to be able to do good. These men 
may be found all along on the declivity from the 
heights of affluence to the vale of poverty. The Lord 
increase them a hundred-fold ! 

Now, what is Christian example, however modified, 
and wherever presented, but human- obligation, embodied 
in a living and attractive form ? Behold the form \ 
Can you resist charms so divine ? Can you refuse to 
imbibe a spirit so heavenly ? How can you refuse to 
tread in the foot-prints of those, who '''through faith 
and patience inherit the promises" ? 



26 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



I see a heavenly vision. "The ransomed of the 
Lord," each in his appropriate place, gather around the 
" Captain of their salvation." None is wanting — none 
reluctant. Behold the "sacramental host of God's 
elect I" One object engrosses their attention ; one spi- 
rit animates their bosoms ; one enterprise calls forth 
their collective powers. "The one thing they do" is 
to support the throne and extend the kingdom of their 
Messiah. To accomplish this, they glory in labors, sa- 
crifices, tribulations. They task every power to fulfil 
the will of the Majesty by whose behest they are awed 
and controlled. As it is his will, so it is their steadfast 
purpose, to bring a world in subjection to his feet. 
Thus, they welcome the condition on which his smiles 
are bestowed. Thus, they are receiving the very dis- 
cipline by wbich they may be prepared to join the 
heavenly hosts. Thus they are breaking the chains in 
which a world has long been held ; and lo ! the shout 
of emancipated myriads, "like the voice of many 
waters," shakes the pillars of the universe ! 

The foregoing train of thought involves a test by 
vjhich professed Christians may try their own character. 
Let each of us, dear brethren, seriously weigh the in- 
quiry, Do I belong to that happy number to whom the 
apostle applies the graphical description, " None of us 
liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself ; for 
whether we live, we live unto the Lord ; and whether 
we die, we die unto the Lord ; whether we live, there- 
fore, or die, wc are the Lord's" ? This, clearly, is a 
description of Christian character. Am I, then, a Christ- 
ian % Is it. the great end of all my designs, plans, and 
exertions, to glorify the Saviour and build up his 
cause ? Do I rejoice to live and toil for an object so 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



27 



dear to God ? Or do I regard the prosperity of Zion 
only as an object of secondary importance ? Do I meet 
the expenses which are requisite to support Christian 
institutions at home and abroad, reluctantly and grudg- 
ingly ? Am I more anxious to enjoy the privileges of 
the Gospel cheaply, than to derive from them the high- 
est benefit ? When called to incur expense and sacri- 
fices for the sake of advancing the Kedeemer's king- 
dom, am I apt to be cold, impatient, peevish ? Am I 
prone to wish that the friends of God and man, in their 
efforts to " spread the Gospel," would act on plans less 
comprehensive and expensive ? Am I often tempted 
to suspect the purity of their motives ? to misinterpret 
their language ? and misrepresent their conduct ? Do 
I often eagerly and loudly complain of the burdens 
which my Christian profession imposes on me ? Do I 
sometimes detect in myself sentiments of regret that I 
ever joined the Christian standard? Ah! brethren, 
these, and such as these, are serious questions, and de- 
serve a serious answer. They bear directly on the 
soundness of our religious character. They point to 
the ground on which multiplied decent professors betray 
the rottenness of their hearts. It is high time for us to 
urge home upon our souls with searching hand the in- 
quiry whether we are living to God or to ourselves. 
The apathy and selfishness of thousands in the Church 
have already occasioned the endless ruin of unnumbered 
millions ! Long ago, had professed Christians, as a 
body, yielded to the obligations by which their Lord 
had bound them — long ago had the " earth been filled 
with his glory!" Never will his grace and power be 
universally known, till the Church more generally and 
accurately answers to the description of character given 



28 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



at the commencement of this discourse. Let those who 
would not in the final day be required to answer for 
the blood of their brethren, look well to this matter. 
Wo to the false disciple, who, in spite of obligations as 
sacred as the authority of God, lives to himself — lives 
for any other object than the prosperity of Zion ! He 
may have his frames — his joys and sorrows ; his fears 
and hopes ; and after all miserably perish. Who then 
is he, who while he lays his soul at the feet of Jesus 
Christ for salvation, is ready to devote himself a living 
sacrifice to His service ? He is the man who, in the 
day of retribution, shall be welcomed to the " joy of 
his Lord." Be ours the blessedness of, and full parti- 
cipation in, his labors and rewards ! 



The pulpit of the College chapel, according to the 
laws of the institution, belonged to the theological pro- 
fessors. It was mine to occupy once every Sabbath. 
Four of the sermons which I delivered there, were 
published within the covers of the same pamphlet. 
The occasion on which they were offered to the public, 
is thus described in the preface : 

" During the first term of the present year, a discussion 
arose in the regular disputations of the College, on the 
points which separate the patrons of the American Colo- 
nization Society from the advocates of immediate eman- 
cipation. In the course of the discussion, I was not a little 
alarmed, not to say shocked with the ground, which was 
assumed to maintain the doctrine and defend the designs 
of this Society. Expediency in opposition to naked recti- 
tude, was plead for, as a basis to which plans and ex- 
ertions in behalf of the colored Americans should be 
adjusted. Apologies were made for the present race 
of slaveholders, under pretence that the evils beneath 
which they are placed, and from which, it is said, they long 
to break away, were entailed upon them. But it was 
especially insisted on, that against the colored Ameri- 
can, a prejudice, arising from his complexion, was uni- 
versally cherished, as effective and invincible, as a con- 
stitutional tendency, which must forever exclude him 
from the affectionate regard, and withhold from him 
the rights and privileges of his white neighbors. Those 
who claimed to be free from this prejudice, it was al- 
leged, could hardly be regarded as sincere. And yet 
confessedly affected with this deep-rooted prejudice — 
nay, yielding to its giant power, and adapting their 



30 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



plans to tlie satisfying of its exorbitant demands, the Co- 
lonization Society, it was contended, ought to have the 
credit of forming a just estimation of the character and 
prospects of Africo- Americans, and of devising wise 
and happy methods for elevating their condition, and 
promoting their interests! Positions like these, and 
taken for any purpose, I could not, as a preacher of 
the Gospel, regard with indifference. They appeared 
to me to be elementary errors, subversive of the first 
principles of Christian truth. Official fidelity, espe- 
cially an affectionate regard for the highest interests 
of my beloved charge, seemed to me to demand most 
serious and earnest endeavors to expose the noxious 
tendencies, and counteract the deadly influence of such 
doctrines as I have just alluded to. Enough has now 
been said, to explain, briefly and generally, the imme- 
diate occasion of the following discourses. 

"ISTo sooner had I commenced the course of instruc- 
tion, given in the following pages, than marked and 
painful indications were apparent, that some of my 
hearers were deeply displeased. The various forms in 
which this displeasure broke out, I ought not, in this 
place, to be expected fully to describe. I was urged 
to desist immediately ; and threatened with the loss of 
a part of my audience, if I did not give some assurance, 
that I would forthwith abandon the position I had 
taken. Any such assurance, I clearly saw and deeply 
felt, could be nothing less than treason to my Lord — 
an abandonment of the post to which his authority had 
called me. To ask it r I could not but regard as arro- 
gance — arrogance which would thrust a man upon the 
throne of God — arrogance which always grows and 
thrives as it is yielded to and humored. As I pro- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



31 



ceeded with the trains of thoughts, now presented to 
the public, I found myself charged with the crime of 
refusing to preach the Gospel, and offering philosophy 
and politics in the place of its healthful doctrines ! 
Souls, just ready to enter the kingdom of heaven, I 
had rudely beaten back ! Upon the hearts of the dis- 
ciples of the Saviour, I had inflicted wounds, deep and 
numerous ! 

u These charges, I have had occasion to know, were 
not confined to my proper hearers. From different 
points of the Western Eeserve, the alarm has travelled 
forth, that the College-pulpit has been desecrated — has 
been made, on the holy Sabbath, a place for philoso- 
sophical discussion and political wrangling. Nay, I 
have too much reason to believe, that measures were 
devised and urged, by some who seemed to think they 
ought to have the control of the Coll ege-joiil pit, which, 
had they not been unexpectedly defeated by the Sav- 
iour's hand, would have constrained me, unquestioned 
and unheard, to defile my conscience or leave my 
station. 77 

The discussion thus alluded to was animated and 
protracted. It awakened in the College and all abroad 
in the community around us a deep and lively interest. 
In disposing of the claims of enslaved humanity, vari- 
ous positions were assumed both by the students and 
by their fellows around them. These were assailed on 
the one hand and defended on the other in our mutual 
intercourse with each other, publicly and privately, 
with a great deal of zeal and considerable ability. Oc- 
cupants of the pulpit and prominent members of the 
churches were to a wide extent active in the contro^ 



32 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



versy. My fellow-preachers, generally, I had all along 
regarded with warm sympathy and strong confidence. 
But the ground, which in greatly multiplied instances 
they now assumed, surprised, startled, alarmed me. I 
had understood them to maintain, decisively and stren- 
uously, the unity of the human race; the inalienable 
right of every child of Adam to " life, liberty and the" 
unembarrassed " pursuit of happiness;' 7 the universal 
authority of the Golden Rule ; the essential sinfulness 
of assailing any of those prerogatives, with which the 
Creator had armed mankind — of course the wickedness 
of slavery, in which an attempt is deliberately and 
persistently made to reduce personality to property — 
that of one sin as well of another, the guilty are bound 
at once to repent; that only in so doing, can they 
escape penal inflictions ; that the will of God, thus ex- 
pressed, is the only source of safety amidst whatever 
embarrassments and dangers we may be exposed to ; 
and that on these and kindred statements under all 
their natural aspects, and in all their fit applications, 
we cannot too earnestly insist. The bearing of these 
significant particulars on American slavery I could not 
help seeing, was direct and powerful. They impera- 
tively demanded its immediate abolition. 

And yet those, who as prominent figures within the 
sphere of its influence were generally regarded as the 
fit representatives of the prevalent Christianity, prompt- 
ly and stoutly denied that American slavery was ne- 
cessarily in conflict with its high-born principles and 
characteristic demands. While insisting for theologi- 
cal purposes on the unity of the human race, they re- 
sisted the claims of the negro to their fraternal regards. 
The absurd and malignant prejudices almost univer- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



S3 



sally cherished among professed Christians as well as 
elsewhere, the tallest ecclesiastics were forward to 
excuse if not to justify. They denied that Christian- 
ity could be expected to elevate such outcasts to the 
enjoyment of human prerogatives and privileges. 
They were excluded generally from literary and theo- 
logical schools. In religious assemblies a place was 
assigned them, adapted to depress their feelings and 
discourage their hopes. I once adverted to this matter 
in the presence of a distinguished theological professor 
from the neighborhood of Boston. He offered to just- 
ify the aversion and contempt with which the white 
man spurned his colored fellows, on the ground that 
all this was 11 natural 11 1 If so, I reminded him, that it 
must be universal, alike prevalent at all times and in 
all places. And yet Homer pronounces the highest 
eulogy on the Ethiopians, in assuring us that Jupiter 
and his court repaired from time to time to Ethiopia to 
partake of the hospitality there offered. Herodotus 
describes the same people as " the greatest and most 
beautiful of men." Judge Jeremy declares, after a 
long residence in the West-Indies, and a careful ob- 
servation of the scenes there exhibited, and the tastes 
and tendencies there manifested, that complexion apart 
from slavery was no more than size an obstruction in 
the way of any of the intimacies, into which men may 
enter with each other in the various relations of life. 
Wherever, moreover, white people have been reduced 
to slavery, they have been subjected to the same insults 
and injuries as negro slavery involves. History assures 
us, that their continental oppressors affected to doubt 
whether their Saxon slaves " had souls" — were human! 
Such suggestions I urged on the reverend presence, 

9* 



34 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



wlio, theological professor though, he was, attempted to 
justify the aversion and contempt, to which our colored 
fellows are every where in this country exposed, on the 
ground that it was in accordance with an ordinance of 
nature. Nor did any of his priestly fellows, who wit- 
nessed or took part in the discussion express a syllable 
of dissent. The only reply which was offered, reached 
me in the form of the report, that the reverend professor 
pronounced me "insane." And yet, if I had suggested 
a doubt of the unity of the human race, how soon and 
how solemnly would he not have held me up to sus- 
picion, as affected with infidel tendencies ! — Of course, 
it was pronounced as eagerly and peremptorily in the 
pulpit as on the exchange, or in the hall of legislation, 
or even in the bar-room or brothel, ill-advised and mis- 
chievous, for any of us to assert and defend the inalien- 
able rights of our enslaved fellows. We should thus 
become a disturbing force — a dangerous element amidst 
our gravest relations. We should thus assail the peace 
of the Church and the stability of the republic. We 
might not justify ourselves in any such attempt, by ap- 
pealing to the Sovereign Will — to the Divine Author- 
ity. In theological discussions within or without the 
pulpit, we were quite at liberty to magnify and exalt 
the Legislative Soul "to our heart's content." We 
could hardly be too broad or emphatic in our declar- 
ations. In the abstract, we could hardly assign to the 
will of God a control over all things too universal or 
absolute. But in the sphere of the practical, we must 
bow to the supremacy of expediency. Here we must 
do what in principle may be " wrong," that practical 
evil might be avoided, or practical good might be se- 
cured ! Otherwise, we laid ourselves open to the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



35 



harshest imputations and exposed ourselves and others 
to the heaviest embarrassments. We must be held 
responsible for all the frightful consequences which 
might grow out of our adhering, word-wise and deed- 
wise, to naked rectitude in all its various demands and 
natural applications ! 

A large number of the students at the Western Ee- 
serve College were in deep sympathy with the preachers 
around, who assumed the position thus described. In 
the public disputations, which were provided for by 
the laws of the institution, they insisted on excusing 
slavery and justifying negro-hate on the dogmas to 
which so many clergymen gave the sanction of their 
names and the support of their pulpits. The attitude, 
they thus assumed, seemed to me to be greatly revolt- 
ing — inconsistent with a manly character and effective 
usefulness. As responsible for the influence of the 
pulpit, around which they were expected from Sab- 
bath to Sabbath to assemble, I felt impelled to examine 
somewhat freely the conclusions, on which in our pub- 
lic disputations they so stoutly insisted. Hence the 
four Sermons, to which I have already alluded. In 
thus addressing those, who had been committed to my 
charge, I found myself exposed to the suspicion and 
reproach, described in the paragraphs which I have 
ventured to quote from the preface to the four Ser- 
mons. The first of thgse, as a specimen of the series, 
I take the liberty %o insert here, that my readers may 
anew survey the ground in controversy between me 
&nd my opponents. Let them judge whether wisdom 
and fidelity did not imperatively require me to occupy 
and cultivate it. 



M Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee 
again, and thou shalt stand before me : and if thou take forth the 
precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return 
unto thee ; but return not thou unto them." — Jeremiah 15 : 19. 

In this language, we have a clear intimation of the 
posture which Jeremiah had taken, before this oracle 
of Jehovah fell upon his ear and reached his heart. 
Disheartened with ill success, he had abandoned his 
sacred work. He withdrew from the ungrateful mul- 
titude. " He sat alone ;" and gave himself up to deep 
despondency, while bitter complaints fell from his lips. 
Even his confidence in God began to forsake him. In 
the anguish of his spirit, he came near to reproaching* 
Jehovah for want of fidelity in fulfilling his engage- 
ments. Thus affected, "the word of the Lord" calmed 
his agitated bosom and silenced his complaining tongue. 
"If thou return" — cease from despondency and com- 
plaint, and engage with cheerfulness, and zeal, and 
hope in thine appropriate work — "then will I bring 
thee again" — restore thee to the high responsibilities 
and sacred privileges of the prophetic office — "and 
thou shalt stand before me" — be my minister. " And 
if thou take forth the precious from the vile" — if in 
thy sacred work, thou shalt accurately and clearly dis- 
criminate between good men and bad men — between 
right and wrong — "thou shalt be as my mouth" — 
speak with divine authority; "let them return to thee" 
— their consciences shall bear witness to the truth and 
weight of thine instructions, and to the integrity and 
benevolence of thy character ; "but return not thou 



* See verse 18. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



37 



unto them" — thou shalt not adopt their principles, 
cherish their spirit, pursue the objects to which they 
are devoted. 

The text, thus explained, furnishes ground for the 
following statement, which it is the object of this dis- 
course to illustrate and apply : Those philanthropists, 
who adjust their exertions to remove moral evils — in other 
words, to reform men — to an accurate discrimination he- 
tiveen right and wrong, have good reason to expect success. 

The doctrine is sometimes advanced in elevated 
places and on high authority, that it is not wise to act 
upon the conclusions, to which the most compact train 
of sound metaphysical argument would conduct us. 
Intelligent men, we are told, keep their eyes open upon 
the wide distinction between what is right and what is 
practicable.* Your views may, indeed, be in the strict' 

* As a specimen of the language which is often heard on this sub- 
ject, take the following extract from the report of a select committee 
of the Ohio Legislature, in the winter of 1832.* After admitting that 
the obstacles to be encountered in u so elevating the moral and social 
condition of the blacks in Ohio, that they would be received into society 
on terms of equality, and would by common consent be admitted to a 
participation of political privileges," lay in " the strong and unconquer- 
able feeling of the society in which we live," and in the " situation of 
the enslaved Africans in a large portion of this republic," the commit- 
tee, through Mr. Worthington, proceed to say : " Whether this feel- 
ing be right or wrong, reasonable or unreasonable, it is not the province 
of this committee to inquire ; that is a question for the abstract philo- 
sopher and metaphysician" ! .... u The duty of the committee, 
then, is confined to what is practicable in legislation, and conducive to 
the general welfare of the community? We commend the whole report 
to the careful attention of all who wish to know what shallow thinking, 
and pitiful quibbling, and unprincipled measures may wear the guise 
and assume the name of political wisdom. A white man, who can read 
it without blushing for his own color, may well be suspected of having 

* See Observer and Telegraph for Feb. 2, 1S32. 



38 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



est accordance with truth. But in your exertions to 
do good, beware of acting on a plan, which has nothing 
better to recommend it than its full conformity to 
sound reasoning and correct views. Skilful counsel- 
lors will assure you, that by attempting too much, you 
will fail to accomplish the little, which might other- 
wise be practicable. 

In opposition to such views, the truth of the posi- 
tion which lies at the foundation of this discourse may 
be sustained — 

I. By a reference to facts. 

In different ages of the world, men have stood up, 
who regarded the iniquity which prevailed around 
them with deep abhorrence. Their heart-felt concern 
for the glory of God, and the welfare of the human 
family, constrained them to attempt something to suc- 
cor and save a bleeding world. They have been 
honored with the reputation of reformers. But for 
these strong props, the world would have fallen long 
ago into a heap of ruins. — At the head of these stood 
Moses , and especially, and far above them all, Jesus 
Christ. Principles they laid down, and precepts they 
published, which covered the whole ground of human 
relations and human interests. These interests were to 
be defended and these relations sustained, by enforcing 
those precepts and maintaining those principles, in 
cases endlessly varied and indefinitely multiplied. To 

already done violence to his conscience. In promoting the welfare of 
the community, to which he belongs, a legislator, forsooth, has nothing 
to do with the right or the wrong of the general feeling, to which he 
may adjust his measures ! Alas ! we have already had too much such 
wise legislation ! u Practicable," indeed it may be ; just as it is prac- 
ticable for bad men in high places to stab the vitals of their country ! 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



39 



all these cases, they did not themselves attempt, speci- 
fically and particularly, to apply their own principles 
and precepts. This work was left, in part, to be ac- 
complished by their coadjutors and successors.* Pious 
kings and holy prophets carried forward the work, 
begun by the Hebrew legislator, of expanding and 
applying the maxims and injunctions of the Mosaic 
institutions. To the faithful hands of apostles, and 
reformers, and missionaries, moreover, was committed 
in many instances, the delightful and honorable work 
of fully expounding and specifically applying the pe- 
culiarities of the Gospel. 

Let us now mark some of the points, in which differ- 
ent reformers have labored to remove moral evils, 
which prevailed around them. — During their residence 

* Why do the advocates of the American Colonization Society seek 
the proofs and analogies, by which they try to defend the designs of 
that institution amidst the rubbish of the dark ages and dark regions ? 
Instead of discussing the merits of this Society amidst the light, which 
the principles of the Bible are from age to age, with ever increasing 
effulgence, pouring upon the relations and duties of the human family, 
they insist upon carrying forward their investigations, drawing their 
conclusions, and arranging their plans amidst the obscurity, and mist, 
and gloom of 44 the times of" former " ignorance." Whence this love 
of darkness? 11 Who ever doubted," cries Rev. Mr. Danforth, General 
Agent for the American Colonization Society, (see 5th letter,) "the 
criminality of divorce for slight causes ? Yet Moses suffered it for the 
hardness of their hearts !" A reviewer in the Christian Spectator 
(1830, p. 473) transports us to the feet of the Emperor of China, the 
Autocrat of Russia, and the Sultan of Turkey to find analogies to justify 
"domestic slavery!" 

How are the Southern slaveholders and men-stealers — who are as 
nearly akin to each other as twin brothers — to be enlightened respect- 
ing the obligations which the Gospel imposes on them? Discussion 
they will not endure. The universal cry of their apologists is " hush, 
hush." Keep silence. You will exasperate our dear friends at the 
South. Better let our colored brethren perish, than disturb the be- 



40 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



in Egypt, the Hebrews, it seems, became addicted to 
idolatry. Moved and governed by divine authority, 
Moses undertook to subject them to the influence of 
a pure theocracy. The foundation, on which he rested 
his proceedings, deserves particular attention. He 
adjusted his plans and conformed his movements to 
an accurate discrimination between right and wrong. 
Without making the hast allowance for their prejudices, 
he required them at once and forever to renounce idolatry. 
Whatever form it might assume, and under whatever 
complexion it might appear, they were required to 
regard it with unmingled abhorrence and stern, deter- 
mined opposition. If they yielded to the force of old 
prejudices and former habits, the indulgence was dearly 
purchased. To w r orship the cherished objects, which 
they had once reverenced was a capital offence. And 
he was blessed of God, and honored by men, who 
threw the first stone ! Who will venture to affirm, 

loved prejudices of their masters. Why, in 1820, Jeremiah Evarts 
wrote an editorial article in the Panoplist, occasioned by the " Missouri 
Question" — a question, the discussion of which in the national legisla- 
ture, brought thousands of good men to their knees at the mercy-seat, 
and the decision of which clothed the land with mourning — which gave 
great offence to the Southern slaveholders. He had the mortification 
of learning, that his u Speculations having special reference to a law 
of Virginia, were the occasion of arresting the walls of a church, built 
by free negroes, in Charleston, S. C. ! (See Pan. 1820, pp. 482, 491.) 
Xo wonder the magnanimous apologists of such " hard-hearted" men 
should think them well disposed of, when brought into close companion- 
ship with the " Sultan of Turkey," and the " Autocrat of Russia." We 
have no objection to such a classification. Whether we ought, and 
God will, u wink at" the wilful ignorance, and stubborn prejudice, and 
hoary guilt of those 11 who build their houses by unrighteousness and 
their chambers by wrong; who use their neighbor's service without 
wages, and give him not for his work"* is a very different point. 

* Jeremiah 22 : 13. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



41 



that Moses attempted too much, by adjusting his econo- 
my to views strictly correct, of the relations which the 
Hebrews sustained to Jehovah ? His institutions were 
based on the purest metaphysics ; but were they not 
as practical as they were philosophical and divine? 
They were full of the most powerful and salutary ten- 
dencies. While in the face of popular prejudice and 
general habits, they vindicated the rights of God, they 
were adapted to promote in the most effectual manner 
and in the highest degree the interests of mankind. 
And glorious results crowned the exertions of the 
great Hebrew lawgiver. 

The Jews, when the apostle Paul became a Christian 
minister, cherished against the Gentiles a prejudice as 
deeply rooted as it was injurious. This prejudice 
formed a cord of caste fearfully strong. It had been 
maintained for ages. It was strengthened and fortified 
by some of the most vigorous sentiments of the de- 
praved heart. It was nourished by pride and patriot- 
ism. It was sanctified by the religious views which 
they held. It moved every fibre of their hearts, and 
modified every element of their character. When any 
of the Jews joined the Christian standard, this preju- 
dice still clung to them, with a force and tenacity 
worthy of a constitutional tendency. They were dis- 
posed to hold their Gentile brethren at arm's-end, and 
to extort from them a respectful acknowledgment of 
Jewish superiority. So powerful was this feeling, that 
on some occasions, it threatened to sweep away the 
strongest barriers which opposed its progress.* Apos- 
tles allowed themselves to be swayed by its influence. 



* Gal. 2 : 14. 



42 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



This cord of caste Paul regarded with stern abhorrence 
and unyielding opposition. It was adapted to check 
the progress of Christianity, as the religion of man — of 
the world. It was fitted to break the happiest commu- 
nity, which it might invade, into parties ; and to bring 
brethren into harsh collision and fierce conflict with 
each other. It was a rope twisted in hell, and fitted to 
strangle the Church. In his efforts to remove this 
moral evil, mark the course which Paul pursued. The 
methods which he took were solicitously, accurately, 
fully adjusted to the natural relations which all men 
sustain to each other. When, in this matter, he saw 
the rights of his Gentile brethren invaded, he promptly 
stood up in their defence. Whoever the aggressor 
might be, a powerful hand crippled him. Even Peter, 
when he bent before the gust of popular prejudice, 
was publicly exposed and sternly rebuked by the in- 
trepid Apostle to the Gentiles. And what advocate of 
human rights has the world ever seen, who was more 
successful in his exertions to reform mankind ? 

One of the most formidable obstacles, which the 
modern Christian missionary has to encounter, is found 
in the same prejudice, a prejudice which breaks up 
large communities into petty clans, and confines their 
kind regards to the circle to which thev belong. The 
wall, which separates these castes from each other, 
generation after generation, has for ages been laboring, 
with ever-watchful zeal and untiring industry, to raise 
to a higher point and fortify with increased strength. 
It has been pronounced a thousand times an inpregna- 
ble barrier. But the missionary of the cross dares to 
believe that the weapons of his warfare are mighty 
through God, to the destruction of every strong hold. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



43 



He sees in the prejudice, which divides men into va- 
rious clans, pride and selfishness in their foulest forms. 
He sees in it an invasion of the dearest rights of man- 
kind. While they hate each other, he knows they 
cannot unite in adoration at the feet of their common 
Lord — cannot now, cannot ever mingle their hearts in 
the song of redemption. This prejudice, therefore, he 
regards with unrelenting hostility. Under every form 
he resists it. While he pursues it, extermination is his 
avowed object. Accurate and comprehensive views of 
human relations and human rights are the foundation 
of his plans; the standard to which his exertions are 
carefully adjusted and fully conformed. The Bramin 
and the Sooder must consent to sit at a common table 
and to greet each other with fraternal love, before they 
can be admitted to a place in the family of Jesus. 
And the success which has rewarded the missionary 
enterprise has been highly encouraging. 

What good have they done, who, in their professed 
exertions to reform mankind, have humored their 
wicked prejudices? Who was brought to repentance 
by the lectures of the ancient philosopher ? While he 
encouraged the besotted multitude to cling to their 
idols, what impression did his more elevated views of 
the divinity make upon their minds ? Those scenes 
of obscenity and cruelty in which they freely mingled 
at the Pagan temples, and which he durst not expose 
and denounce, must immediately and effectually blot 
from their memories the lessons of wisdom which he 
might have taught. The supple Jesuit, too; what 
human heart was ever yet cheated out of its cherished 
lusts by his boasted arts ? When was the god of this 
world bereaved of a single subject by the intrigue and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



cunning of his professed opposers ? Jesuitical sophis- 
try has sometimes brought men to exchange one set of 
idols for another ; to alter the modes and complexion 
of their crimes ; but never heartily to renounce a single 
sin or sincerely practise a single virtue. The preju- 
dices which it has humored, it has left to prey upon 
the heart they had infested. It has left men as dead 
in sin and as much exposed to hell, as it found them. 

II. The doctrine on which we are dwelling, may be sus- 
tained by a reference to the natural tendencies of things. 

1. Those, who adjust their exertions to reform man- 
kind to an accurate discrimination between right and 
wrong, have a standard by which moral evil may be easily 
and certainly detected and exposed. Without such a 
standard, the task to be attempted by the reformer, 
cannot be defined. Of the work before him he can 
form no just idea. His efforts, however well intended, 
and however strenuous, must be at best random and 
fruitless. Nay, acting in the dark, he may injure the 
cause, he is anxious to promote. He may set up what 
is commonly called expediency, as a standard to which 
his views of duty and his benevolent exertions shall 
be conformed. In what does this consist ? In adjust- 
ing our plans and movements to the circumstances, in 
which we may think ourselves placed. But our know- 
ledge of our circumstances must be very limited — must 
be exceedingly vague and imperfect. To multiplied 
beings above us and around us, we sustain interesting 
relations. "We belong to a system of things infinitely 
complicated and extensive. Of remote bearings and 
ultimate tendencies, how little can we know ! A single 
action may give birth to stupendous events, which lie 
far beyond the limits of our vision. With the little 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



45 



circle of objects which are directly around us, our ac- 
quaintance is slight and partial ; what can we pretend 
to know of the objects, to which we are related, which 
are concealed in the dark recesses of eternity and im- 
mensity ! Apart from the revealed will of God, what 
can we pretend to know about expediency ? 

With our petty views of expediency, we proceed to 
create a standard. Before we can adjust a plan or 
modify a movement by our standard, it can hardly 
fail to undergo some important change. The moment 
our views of the objects around us, become more defi- 
nite and comprehensive, our standard must be reduced 
to conformity with our increased knowledge. Every 
new ray of light, which falls upon our minds, may 
alter our rule of conduct. It is liable to constant, 
everlasting variation. Before you can adjust your 
scales, the weights have changed their value ! What 
is such a standard good for ? It may deceive, perplex, 
embarrass ; a better end it cannot subserve. 

In his efforts to remove moral evils, on the ground 
of expediency, moreover, the reformer may have to 
encounter a multitude of standards. Among those, 
for whose benefit he labors, he will hardly find two, 
who have the same views of their interests and rela- 
tions. Their notions of expediency will be as various 
as their views of the objects they contemplate. Amidst 
a thousand various and clashing rules, to what substan- 
tial results can he hope himself to arrive or to conduct 
others? Who will be convinced by his reasoning, 
impelled by his arguments, or moved by his appeals ? 
What is true by his standard, may be false by an- 
other's ; what is wrong by his standard, may be right 
>y another's; what, according to his standard, may be 



46 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



promotive of human happiness, may be prejudicial to 
it, according to another's. Without a better standard, 
he cannot even bring men to recognize the evils 
which he would persuade them to abandon ! 

A standard must be found, by which moral evil may 
be detected and exposed, or nothing can be done in 
the work of reformation. An angel's spear must be 
had, whose touch will reduce the toad to his proper 
shape, though it should start up a devil ! Such a 
standard he has, who in his efforts to remove moral 
evil, makes an accurate discrimination between right 
and wrong, the basis of his plans and exertions. He 
has only to compare human conduct with Heaven's 
revealed will — with the law of God, to ascertain its 
proper tendencies and natural bearings. In the light 
of this comparison, he may easily illustrate its true 
complexion and just desert. The task to be performed 
lies fully in his view. To those, who are around him, 
he explain his design with definiteness and precision. 
The force of his arguments and the point of his appeals, 
referable as they are to a standard, generally under- 
stood and commonly acknowledged — immutable as it 
is authoritative, will be perceived and felt. He may 
justly hope to convince the understanding, rouse the 
conscience, subdue the heart. 

2. The natural tendencies of the human constitution 
greatly favor their designs, who in their efforts to re- 
move moral evils, adjust their plans and exertions to 
an accurate discrimination between right and wrong. 
The maxim, so often repeated, and of such high author- 
ity with many, is based on truth, and full of good 
sense — If you would bring him to renounce his errors and 
abandon his sins, you must take man as he is. Some 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



47 



shallow thinkers, I know, misunderstand and pervert 
it. In their mouths, and with their application, it is 
not only deprived of its proper weight and worth, but 
becomes a string of empty words, which would dis- 
grace the lips of a fool. If we would take man as he 
is, they tell us, that we must adjust our exertions for 
his benefit to his moral character. We must not offend 
his taste ; we must not disturb his prejudices ; we must 
not rouse his passions ; we must not alarm his fears ; we 
must not embarrass him in his chosen pursuits ! We 
must evince a profound acquaintance with his nature, 
by curing him of propensities, which have mingled 
with his life-blood ; by breaking up habits, which have 
twined themselves around his heart-strings, by flattering 
and caressing him ! We must deprive the starving lion 
of his prey by stroking his mane I Nay, more, we 
must draw the devil into ambush ; and overcome him, 
not with the "sword of the Spirit," but with cunning 
and intrigue — by humoring prejudice and flattering 
vice ; by weapons, forged in hell, ages before the cre- 
ation of mankind. But just so far as we accommodate 
our designs and movements to human depravity, we 
lend our influence to make it more audacious. Under 
such a discipline, it must thrive fearfully ; mocking the 
petty expedients and defying the puny checks, which 
in this way, we may think of opposing to its progress. 
To take man as he is, in any such sense, is to leave him 
worse than you found him ! 

In man, 11 as he is, 11 two things are united : the con- 
stitution which God gave to him, and the character which 
he has acquired. Both belong to the science of human 
nature. Both must be carefully studied, if we would 
form an acquaintance with mankind. Upon both must 



48 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the eye be kept open, if we would make well-directed 
and successful efforts to correct the erring and reclaim 
the guilty. The original tendencies of the human consti- 
tution must be brought to bear with all their natural force 
upon the cherished prejudices and beloved habits of mail's 
acquired character. To purify and elevate the latter, 
our plans and exertions must be adjusted to the former. 
The tendencies of the human constitution are directly 
opposed to the tendencies of man's acquired character ; 
hence, the war, which ravages and desolates the unsanc- 
tified bosom. Hence the fierce conflict, which lacerates 
rebellious spirits on the earth and in hell. Every ray 
of light which falls upon the human understanding, 
makes its decisions against transgression of the law of 
Grod more peremptory and authoritative. Every just 
appeal, which is directed to the conscience, awakens it 
to new life, increased vigor, quickened sensibility. 
Every glance, which the eye of pity may cast upon the 
heart, makes it bleed and moan afresh. The frame- 
work of human nature, formed on the model of the 
divine law, cannot fail, when enlightened by celestial 
truth, to employ its original susceptibilities and powers, 
in direct, determined, ceaseless opposition to iniquity. 
In his efforts to reform mankind, the philanthropist 
may bring all these powers and susceptibilities into full 
and active subserviency to his design. He has only to 
adjust his exertions to an accurate discrimination be- 
tween right and wrong, and human nature, from the 
most retired recesses of the soul, will rush forth to his 
assistance. The impulse of its affections, the cheering 
of its voice, the vigor of its hand, it will promptly, nay, 
eagerly afford him. "With arguments, drawn fresh 
from the inspired volume, he may ply the understand 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



49 



ing. If presented in a clear light, just form, and natural 
complexion, their force will be felt and acknowledged. 
The understanding will yield assent to the conclusions, 
which they naturally support. It will utter its voice in 
unqualified, pointed condemnation of wickedness. • — The 
standard of obligation, set up in God's revealed word, 
he may bring to bear upon the conscience. — If fairly 
presented and faithfully applied, conscience will not 
fail to respond to it. The guilty bosom will be wrung 
with remorse — will be tortured w T ith anticipated pangs 
of eternal damnation. He may direct his appeals to 
the heart, forlorn and desolate, bleeding at every, pore 
with self-inflicted wounds. He may charge home upon 
it the guilt and folly of forsaking " the Fountain of 
living waters," and of repairing to empty broken cis- 
terns, to quench its raging thirst ; of refusing to give 
its love and confidence to God, the Father, Saviour, 
Sanctifier, and fastening its affections and fixing its 
hopes on mere shining bubbles. To a perverse choice, 
to misplaced affections, to unwarranted reliances he may 
point, as the fountain of the dark, turbid, bitter waters 
which overflow the soul. And to every syllable he 
utters, the oppressed, bereaved heart will mournfully 
respond : truth, truth I It will feel that it is wedded 
to. a monster, whose fascinations are deadly to present 
peace and future joy. It luitt groan for deliverance. 
Here are powerful auxiliaries, in the very constitution 
of the transgressor, which in efforts to reclaim and save 
him, may be employed with the happiest effect. Never 
w T as a sinner brought to repentance without such assist- 
ance. Never was such assistance welcomed and em- 
ployed without substantial benefit, The philanthro- 
pist who adjusts his benevolent exertions to the immut- 
" o ... 



50 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



able standard of obligation, set up in the law of God, 
and he only, can avail himself of aid, so appropriate and 
powerful. 

3. So is this philanthropist sustained and cheered 
and encouraged in his exertions by the providence and 
promises of God. — In the arragements of his providence, 
God has connected with evil-doing fearful consequences. 
Even in this world, iniquity brings forth deadly fruit. 
Of this the entire history of the human race is heart- 
breaking proof and mournful illustration. Fix your 
eye, as a single point which deserves attention, on 
the effects which follow the loathsome crime of slave- 
holding. What is domestic life where this crime pre- 
vails? Its sweetest charities and dearest joys are 
blighted. How can they live and flourish amidst mis- 
rule and insubordination, suspicion and jealousy, in- 
flamed passions and incessant strife? The bonds of 
wedded life, how rudely are they broken ! The en- 
slaved husband sees his wife daily exposed to the vio- 
lence and pollution of unbridled lust and unchecked 
licentiousness ! And what confidence can his mistress 
repose in the fidelity of his master? It is no wonder 
that filial obedience, and gratitude, and confidence re- 
fuse to live in the young heart, whose wayward pro- 
pensities and guilty passions are gratified and pampered. 
How terrible, moreover, are the apprehensions which 
torture the bosom of the master, that the slave will one 
day rise and fearfully assert his rights ! That black, 
sinewy arm, who can stand before it, when once lifted 
up in vengeance ? And what sort of vengeance it may 
be expected to inflict, such scenes as clothed South- 
ampton in mourning, teach him, with a definiteness 
and emphasis, which makes his whole frame tremble. 
Every occurrence, favorable to insurrection, spreads 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



51 



terror and dismay far and wide. The most cruel and 
disgraceful measures are resorted to, to prevent the 
anticipated horrors of servile war. The authority and 
skill of legislators, who cling to their vices, and " glorj^ 
in their shame," are employed to conceal beyond the 
reach of discovery, the key of knowledge. Fines and 
stripes, contempt, disgrace and violence are the pre- 
scribed reward of the philanthropist, who should 
dare to conduct a ray of light to the eye of the slave. 
The most anxious, and painful, and disgraceful efforts 
are employed to keep a knowledge of his rights from 
reaching his mind. The colored freedman is subject to 
gross contempt and shocking abuse, to depress him, if 
possible, below the slaves, that a comparison of his 
state with theirs, may not awaken them to discontent.* 
A philanthropist, at the distance of a thousand miles, 
single-handed, decried, derided,opposed, cannot plead the 
cause of the oppressed negro, on the broad basis of eternal 
justice or eternal mercy, without making governors 
tremble in their chairs, and legislators quake in the 
senate-chamber. In the arrangements of providence, 
the slaveholder finds his monstrous guilt in wresting 
away the rights of the helpless and unprotected, a deep 
source of wretchedness. He feels, that in a contest 
with the victim of his cupidity and lust, "not a single 
attribute of God can take side with him."f In the ad- 
justments of His providence, he sees that He has burnt 
into the front of his offending the brand of reprobation. 
The philanthropist, then, who would lend his influence 
to break the chain which binds and cripples the scarred 

* See the debate on Mr. Brodnax's resolution, in the Virginia Legis- 
lature. 

f Jefferson. 



53 



SEEMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



limbs of the slave, may well follow the leadings of 
God's holy providence. By this I mean, that he may 
well use his best endeavors, to open the eyes of the in- 
fatuated slaveholders on the tremendous perils which 
are gathering around them. He may well address and 
thus augment their fears. He may well urge them, as 
they value their own safety, to remove their hand from 
the throat of their unoffending victims, whom despe- 
ration is awakening to courage, and rousing to ven- 
geance. He may well admonish them that they are 
digging their own graves, training up their own exe- 
cutioners. He may surround the tiger, while sucking 
the blood of his victim, with appalling fires ! Around 
slaveholders he may throw, in terrific array, those clan- 
gers with which the providence of God is manifestly 
threatening them. He may thus hope to contribute 
something to bring these worse than Pharaohs'* "to 
let the people go." And as these arrangements of pro- 
vidence are adjusted to an accurate discrimination be- 
tween right and wrong, so, if he would secure their 
powerful influence in aid of the work of reformation, 
must his plans and exertions be. 

With such plans and exertions, he is fully entitled 
to the cheering influence of the divine promises. He 
may justly appropriate to himself the gracious assur- 
ance, by which the Saviour quickened the zeal, strength- 
ened the faith, and animated the hopes of his disciples 
in their labors of love, just as he went up to the medi- 
atorial throne. In the declaration, "Lo! I am with 
you " in your efforts to spread the Gospel, the Lord 
Jesus has furnished us with ground, equally broad and 
substantial, on which we may expect his aid, in every 

* Stuart's Hebrew Study, vol. ii. p. 175. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



53 



enterprise, which is adapted and designed to bring men 
under the controlling influence of Cliristian 'principles. 
Just in proportion as Christian principles extend their 
influence, the Gospel is obeyed. In every instance in 
which we labor to remove moral evils, under any form, 
we labor to extend the sway of Christian truth, and 
may expect the smiles of Jesus Christ. If iniquity in 
every form, is opposed to the progress of the Gospel, 
then the Saviour not only binds us by his authority, 
but also encourages us by his promises, to resist and 
exterminate iniquity in every form. And what is this 
but to lend the sanction of his authority, and the sup- 
port of his promises to those philanthropists, who, in 
their efforts to reform mankind, adjust their exertions 
to an accurate discrimination between right and wrong? 

Fix your eyes on the despondent prophet to whom the 
language of my text was addressed. His heart is cold, his 
hands are heavy. His official work he regards as a hope- 
less enterprise. He stops in the midst of his course, and 
has not courage to take another step. But what saith 
Jehovah? Up! cease your complaints. Eeturn to 
your appropriate labors. Be not afraid of wicked 
men. " Take forth the precious from the vile." Your 
message shall be clothed with divine authority ; your 
language shall have the weight of words fresh from 
the lips of God. Eesults, the most substantial and be- 
neficent, shall follow your exertions. Those who act 
upon the plan prescribed to the prophet, are justly 
entitled to the promises, by which he was cheered. 
And the grand peculiarity of this plan teas a full and 
practical regard to the distinction between rigid and wrong. 

The Saviour does not hesitate to employ the strongest 
language, to incite his people to undertake in extend- 



54 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ing the sway of Christian principles, enterprises the 
most difficult and arduous. " If ye abide in me, and 
my words abide in you, ye shall ask what you will, and 
it shall be done unto you." Mark the condition on 
which the assurance rests, "If my words abide in you" 
— if you maintain cordially, fully, faithfully the prin- 
ciples of the Gospel — adhere in your labors for the be- 
nefit of mankind to the broad distinction, made by the 
finger of God, between right and wrong, there is no 
work of benevolence which you may not attempt with 
hope and courage. As among "the words" of the 
Saviour, he fully develops and clearly illustrates the 
immutable principles of rectitude, so, to appropriate to 
themselves the encouragement to well-doing, which the 
Saviour offers, his people must act upon these prin- 
ciples. In proportion as they do so, he warrants them 
to hope for success in their benevolent designs. It 
must not for a moment be forgotten, that the Holy 
Spirit is the patron of truth and righteousness. In 
proportion as our spirit and movements are conformed 
to the principles of rectitude, may we expect his power- 
ful assistance in our benevolent exertions. "With such 
a helper, not a moral evil disgraces and afflicts the 
earth, which we may not hope to subdue and remove. 

Let those, then, v:ho would by their exertions reform and 
bless mankind, receive instruction from the principle, ex- 
panded and sustained in this discourse. Let them be- 
ware of depending on merely human authority for the 
maxims, on which their plans may be modelled, and by 
which their movements may be modified and controlled. 
All such maxims, they will find, are alike shallow, 
worthless and mischievous. They are fitted to deceive, 
and mislead, and cripple the genuine philanthropist. 



SERMONS AS1) DISCOURSES. 



55 



Let him look far above those petty views of expediency * 
which superficial thinkers so boldly propose, so stoutly 
maintain. He may well turn away with fixed aversion 
from their arrogance and folly. Blind leaders, they 
will certainly conduct their followers, blind as them- 
selves, " to the ditch." Let him dare to stand erect, 
and act upon the plan which God has devised and pro- 
posed. Apply, I would say, faithfully apply the stand- 
ard which he has set up, in detecting and exposing the 
moral evils, which you are anxious to remove. Keep 
your eyes fully open on the original tendencies of hu- 
man nature. Enlist them, as you easily may, in the 
cause to which you are devoted. Upon the under- 
standings, consciences and hearts of wicked men, pour 
the piercing light of heavenly truth. Hold before their 
faces the record of their crimes. Urge upon them the 

* In the New- York Observer — and in how many other papers I know 
not — Rev. Mr. Danforth, General Agent for the American Colonization 
Society, makes the following statements: " Whatever appearance of 
force and conclusiveness there may be in a course of d priori reason- 
ing on abstract principles, (supposing the principles admitted on both 
sides,) we must, after all, when the removal of great practical diffi- 
culties, and the improvement of great masses of people, are in question, 
come down to matters of fact, and shape our measures so as to accom- 
plish, as soon as possible, what appears to us the greatest good. The 
particular way is a matter of some controversy. Some think we should 
exclude all expediency when treating the subject of slavery, and plant- 
ing ourselves on the doctrine of eternal abstract right, do duty and risk 
consequences." This position, the reverend gentleman attempts to 
prove is untenable by showing that slaveholding may be suffered on 
some such grounds as make war and adultery tolerable. 

What have we here? u Admitted abstract principles," held up in 
opposition "to matters of fact" Will he tell us what such principles 
are ? What are they but a comprehensive description of whole classes of 
well-arranged facts f 

Where is the doctrine of u eternal abstract right" to be found, on 



56 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



hateful nature and damning tendency of their cherished 
sins, till their understandings shall condemn them, and 
their consciences upbraid them, and their hearts sicken 
within them. Thus constrain them, in spite of their 
passions and prejudices, to take the side of truth and 
righteousness against themselves — to be co-workers 
with you to reform and save them. Cherish, more- 
over, a deep and lively confidence in the promises of 
God. Lean on the arm which he stretches out to sus- 
tain and guide you. Maintain, with unyielding deci- 
sion, the attitude which he requires you to assume. 
While }'ou "take forth the precious from the vile," 

which we may " plant ourselves" ? Is it not in the law of God? And does 
Mr. D. think of removing from their position those who stand up here, 
on eternal rock — rock as stable as the throne of the Almighty ! 

Let him preach such doctrine to the Southern slaves. Let him teach 
these oppressed and outraged men M to accomplish as soon as possible 
what appears to them the greatest good." And when, if they should 
think it "expedient'" so to do, as possibly they might, they fire the 
houses and cut the throats of their relentless tyrants, let him sneer at 
thpse who "raise a hue and cry about rights, rights f Let him in his 
sacerdotal robes tell the negroes, as they plunge headlong into the 
stream of blood, which at his bidding they have set aflowing : Never 
mind the doctrine of abstract eternal right ! Do, as fast as possible, 
what appears to you the greatest good. Heed not the words of those 
who cry, "Wrongs! Wrongs !" You have " great practical difficulties 
to remove." " Great masses of people" are to be disposed of. You 
must "after all" that is said about rights, "come down to matters of 
fact," and shape your measures so as to accomplish, as soon as possible, 
what appears to you the greatest good. Do what you think is expedient, 
and all shall be icell ! 

Were I a slaveholder, I should much prefer to have the most offensive 
11 incendiary" paper ever complained of at the South, "put into the 
heads" of my slaves, to seeing them digest such abominable sophistry as 
this. Truly, if Messrs. Everett and Bacon have read this precious 
letter, they cannot but "know that there are such things as hard words 
and soft arguments.''' 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



57 



cherish the expectation that your words will strike the 
ears and souls of men, like the " voice of God." Look 
for the smiles of your Saviour, while you labor to ex- 
tend and diffuse the influence of Christian principles. 
Eemember that the Holy Spirit is the unfailing and 
almighty patron of truth and righteousness ; and go 
forward in your beneficent career, expecting his cheer- 
ing and sustaining influences. 

Those who make the maxim, so impressively de- 
scribed in my text, the basis of their benevolent exer- 
tions may well be animated with high hopes of large 
success. Few in number they may be. Formidable 
difficulties may now seem to embarrass them. Huge 
obstacles may now threaten to oppose their progress. 
Their designs may be misunderstood ; their language 
misinterpreted; their conduct misrepresented. They may 
be vilified, slandered, persecuted. The hissing, clamor, 
tumult of the maddened multitude, they may, for a 
season, be called to encounter. " Men of high degree," 
may join with the thoughtless rabble in deriding, threat- 
ening, and opposing them. But such things they 
should not permit to " move them." "They that be for 
them, are more than they which be against them. God is 
on their side f "and how many," to adopt the quaint 
but pointed appeal of Matthew Henry, " shall He be 
reckoned for ?" They may rely upon his providence ; 
they may confide in his promises ; they may lean upon 
his Holy Spirit. Man, too, yes, man is on their side ; 
not as the creature of prejudice and passion, but as the 
workmanship of God, as endowed with tendencies favor- 
able to their design, which are wrought into the very 
elements of human nature. In spite of his pride and 
selfishness, his lust and malice, they may gain his ap- 
3* 



58 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



probation, win his confidence, and in the end may ex- 
pect his cooperation. The tendencies of his acquired 
character may be changed ; the original tendencies of 
his constitution, never. Pride and passion, selfishness 
and prejudice, may be subdued ; but the powers and 
susceptibilities, which elevate him to the ground of 
moral agency and responsibility, however they may be 
covered with rubbish, can never be destroyed. God 
has impressed upon them the stamp of immortality. 
With such auxiliaries, the devoted philanthropist may 
wage an exterminating war with moral evil, with hope 
of glorious success. With this hope, let his port be 
erect, and his step firm. Onward ^ ONWARD let him go, 
for victory awaits him ! 



The following paragraph brings the Four Sermons to 
a conclusion, and indicates the aims and the spirit by 
which they are characterized : 

11 It is not for me, my brethren, to control the parties 
which you may have formed, or to dictate the politics 
to which you shall be partial. With your parties or 
your politics, as such, I have nothing to do in this dis- 
course. But when the one or the other leads you to 
occupy ground, which your Lord and mine forbids you 
to hold, then, as a watchman whose office requires him 
to care for your safety, it is my duty to warn you of 
impending danger. Beware then, I beseech you! 
Mark with open eye the bearing of the principles which 
you may be tempted to adopt — the tendency of the spi- 
rit, which you are in danger of cherishing. Beware ! 
Ere you think of danger, your life-blood may be poi- 
soned at the fountain. Beware ! A serpent may even 
now be coiling round your hearts. You are in danger 
of cherishing a prejudice, deadly to your own peace, 
and hostile to the dearest interests of a large mass of 
oppressed humanity. Be assured, you cannot do so 
with innocence or impunity. Whether " you will hear 
or whether you will forbear," it is mine to warn you, 
that you cannot do so without staining your character 
and forfeiting the smiles of heaven. Whatever may 
be your professed regard for God, forget not that he 
that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, cannot 
love God, whom he hath not seen." 

When leaving the Western Reserve College to as- 
sume the headship of the Oneida Institute, I was fur- 
nished with a paper which I cannot well deny myself 



60 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the privilege of introducing in this connection. Its 
perusal can hardly be other than grateful to the friend- 
ly reader. 

'•Rev. Beriah Green, as Professor of Sacred Litera- 
ture, has been a member of the Faculty of the Western 
Reserve College, for the term of about three years. 

"During this period, whether employed in the pro- 
secution of studies appropriate to his profesional ser- 
vice, or in attending the recitations of his class, or in 
imparting religious instruction to the College generally, 
he has exhibited uncommon diligence and faithfulness. 
His labors have been crowned moreover with marked 
and good success. 

" So far as our personal feelings and attachments are 
concerned — so far indeed as we look exclusively to the 
interests of the Western Reserve College, we cannot 
but regret, and that deeply, his separation from us. 
Nothing but a persuasion, that the Providence of God 
calls him to a higher and more extended field of use- 
fulness in the common cause of learning and religion, 
could make us acquiesce in his removal to Whitesboro'. 

" We rejoice in this opportunity to bear our humble 
testimony to the distinguished excellencies of Prof. 
Green as a Man, a Scholar and a Christian Teacher ; 
but more especially as misrepresentations of his charac- 
ter have been put in circulation by some, whose strong 
prejudices against the principles of the Anti-Slavery 
Society have led them to attempt the disparagement of 
a man, who is confessedly an able advocate of that 
holiest of causes. Such misrepresentations, the Faculty 
of the Western Reserve College are well prepared to 
contradict and expose ; knowing fully as they do all 
the essential circumstances and facts of the case. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



61 



" The course which lias been pursued here by Prof. 
Green, they regard as reflecting the highest honor on 
himself; as bringing large intellectual and moral bene- 
fit to the College, and subserving greatly the cause of 
truth and righteousness. His own luminous and com- 
prehensive views of evangelical truth — his own warm 
and lively feelings of philanthropy and piety have been 
impressed on minds and hearts that will never cease 
to be powerfully affected by the good influence. 

" We know that God will bless, sustain and honor 
our dear Brother, while he shall act on the same prin- 
ciples, and for the same ends, to which he has been here 
successfully devoted ; and in this assurance w T e rejoice 
to commend him to the full confidence and warm affec- 
tion of all our brethren. 

" Chas. B. Storrs, President 
" Elizur Wright, Jr., Prof, of Math, etc. 
" E. M. Walker, Tutor. 

"Western Reserve College, Hudson, Ohio, July 1, 1833." 

This paper I might not have copied, if I had not at 
its date, as well as subsequently, been especially assailed 
by the tongue of calumny, as poisonous as it is busy. 
The testimony so explicit and emphatic, of such Names 
as it introduces, must with every candid inquirer infi- 
nitely outweigh the insinuations, hints and assertions, 
which, kept in constant and wide circulation, are de- 
signed to soil my reputation and reduce my influence. 
Whatever I may be, I rejoice that I can never be iden- 
tified, here or hereafter, with my assailants. 

Three features characterized the Oneida Institute, 
which I always regarded — still regard with very espe- 
cial interest; which awakened and nourished in me 



62 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



hope and confidence. Its course of discipline united 
manual with mental effort; it enjoined the study of 
the Bible, in the tongues in which the Old Testa- 
ment on the one hand and the New on the other were 
at first written; and young men from all quarters 
and of all complexions were admitted on the same 
terms to whatever advantages it might offer. "We 
could not help expecting what presently assailed us 
from different sources and under various forms, sus- 
picion, obloquy and scorn. We were accused of intro- 
ducing into the sphere of education such startling 
novelties as could not well be endured. I can hardly 
help introducing to my readers some of the trains of 
thought and chains of argument, which I ventured to 
employ in illustrating and defending our position, aims 
and methods. 

A few paragraphs may not, here, be out of place, 
from my Inaugural Address : 

' ; Liberal education should embrace the same objects, 
and involve the same principles, as properly belong to 
the discipline by which Christians in general are to be 
trained up for usefulness and heaven. Who are the 
subjects of liberal education — the men of mind and 
learning, of deep thought and moving speech — the men 
of the bar, of the senate-house, of the pulpit ? In what 
light are they to be regarded ? Must we look upon 
them as pagans look upon their priests, as an order of 
superior beings, to whom, standing in the distance, we 
are to bow, awe-struck and tongue-tied ? Not with my 
consent. Mischief enough to satisfy the malignity of a 
common fiend has already been done by those social 
arrangements which separate one brother from another. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



63 



Perish, the cord of caste ! "Why array the hall of legis- 
lation, especially why clothe the pulpit, with factitious 
terrors? Little children crept upon the knees and 
smiled in the bosom of the Son of God. Why should 
they flee with palpitating hearts and trembling limbs 
from the presence of his ministers ? Oh ! I hate the 
empty parade, the idle ceremony, the senseless jargon, 
which holds up the scholar to his own mother's child- 
ren as a man of mysterious power, as a sort of wizard, 
who, in foreign tongues and unearthly sounds, holds 
communion with spirits which the unpractised eye can- 
not perceive ! The lofty pulpit, flowing robe, official 
airs — what better can they do than freeze human 
hearts? They may throw your erring brother, who 
had come forth to meet you, back upon the arms of 
death. They cannot work upon his sympathies, melt 
his heart, draw him to your bosom. The Church, as 
such, and not any portion of the members in distinction 
from the rest, be it well remembered, is a " chosen 
generation, a royal priesthood," dear to the Saviour's 
heart — are all in common admitted to his service. 
Those who are acquiring a liberal education, however, 
expect to be useful especially in the exercise of their 
intellectual powers. Especially, I say ; for why should 
they not prepare themselves to welcome every oppor- 
tunity of doing good in any department of exertion ? 
Why should they refuse the most menial office ? Why 
should they think it beneath their dignity to wash the 
disciples' feet ? What signifies the lily whiteness of 
the hand? They cannot hope in this to rival the 
puling infant. Who would do any thing to nourish 
the foolish prejudice, that the best scholar must be the 
biggest baby ! Men of mind have muscles too. In 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



subserviency to tlie former, let tlie latter be employed 
in the service of mankind." 

"I have said, that in Christian education, man, as 
man, is to be the object of regard. I know that the 
family of Adam has been broken up into multiplied 
divisions. A thousand groundless distinctions have 
been introduced. The arrangements of human society 
are artificial. Birth, complexion, place, a thousand 
things which have nothing to do with constitutional 
character or moral worth, have had a controlling influ- 
ence on public sentiment. Prejudices as rank as dung- 
hill weeds have been allowed to spring up and grow. 
Men have been courted or shunned, loved or hated, 
caressed or scorned, irrespective of their good or ill 
desert.* To such a state of public sentiment, systems 
of education have been adapted. But they have looked 

* A young man of respectable connections and Christian character, 
a beneficiary of the American Education Society, I am informed, was 
so cruelly annoyed and M spitefully entreated" at one of the oldest col- 
leges in Xew-England, as to find it necessary, if he would secure the 
benefits of a liberal education, to go to another public school. What 
was the matter ? A Southern student suspected, from his complexion 
and the appearance of his hair, that he had some " black blood" in his 
veins ! He could not bear to be seated at the same table ! A party 
was soon formed, and a thousand insults heaped upon the victim of 
prejudice. He was left unprotected by the government of the college, 
was greatly embarrassed in his literary course, and finally fled from the 
scene of suffering where he had endured so much, to another college ! 

A young man, a member of a western college, who seems to have a 
slight admixture of foreign blood in him, assured me that he spent some 
two hours with the Rev. President who once published A Plea for 
Africa, in endeavoring to gain admission into a college class, in vain. 
The doctor was willing, if he would go to Liberia, to make provision for 
Ins instruction apart from the college I But no "plea" which my 
young friend could urge, could secure for him a place among white 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



65 



wide of the proper aim of Christian discipline. What 
hold on man could they afford ? They have held him 
up in unnatural forms, and under artificial relations. 
These have to a great extent been made the basis of 
what has been proudly called the science of human na- 
ture.* Those who have most solicitously and skilfully 
adjusted their views and accommodated their move- 
ments to these, have been most loudly praised for their 
knowledge of mankind. Hence, tender solicitude and 
beneficent exertion have been bestowed on man, not as 
the creature of God, but as the fabrication of human 
hands. The extremes of human society, the highest 
and the lowest, have thus to a fearful extent been over- 
looked. Empty, but imposing forms, mere splendid 
frost work, have hedged in the one from the approach 
of instruction, admonition, exhortation. It would be 
rude, insufferably so, to attempt, by the common me- 
thods of the Gospel, to save their souls ! It is the 
demand of politeness, that they should be respectfully 
let alone — be permitted to proceed, with dignified step, 
to the gates of death ! — Others have fallen below the 
aim of benevolence ! It would be vulgar to pity them ! 
Let them wear their rags and clank their chains, and 
gnaw their tongues — who cares ? To bend over them 
in mercy, to raise them from the dust, to wash away 

scholars ! And yet he was pious, respectable for his attainments, and 
of attractive manners. 

Similar incidents have blotted the history of other public schools. 

* Those who would have a striking illustration of this position, are 
invited to read a certain letter, signed by I know not how many doctors 
of divinity in the State of New- York, to the Governor of Georgia, plead- 
ing for the release of the persecuted missionaries from the prison-house 
where they had been most wickedly confined. 



66 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the clotted blood, to probe the putrefying ulcer, to 
pour daylight upon their understandings, and infuse 
into their broken hearts the peace of God and the hope 
of heaven — ah! " delicacy" sickens at such a task! 
Better let such cattle perish, herd upon herd, than dis- 
turb the arrangements which pride and selfishness, as 
rank as any hot-bed in hell could furnish, have estab- 
lished ! And those who in good earnest have attempted 
any thing for the benefit of their brethren who move 
at the top or lie at the bottom of society, have not only 
had to encounter prejudice, hate and opposition, which 
would disgrace a common mad-house, but, what is 
worse, have had to counteract the tendencies and break 
the force of their own education ! 

u It is high time such education had its place among 
the rubbish of darker ages. It has cast obstacles 
enough before the triumphal car of the Messiah ! The 
world will not be converted until the Church, in the 
name of her sovereign Lord, breaks through every 
spell which has hitherto chilled her sympathies, and 
every barrier which has hitherto restrained her move- 
ments, and throws her arms maternally around the 
human family. Her sons must be taught to study 
human nature in the constitutional forms and moral 
features which are the natural results of the divine ar- 
rangements. To man, as man, guilty, needy, wretched, 
exposed to eternal death, and yet capable of everlast- 
ing life, they must be taught to extend their cordial 
sympathies and assistance. Education, in all its pro- 
visions, influences and tendencies, must be adapted to 
the same basis as the peculiarities of the Gospel and 
the decisions of the final judgment." 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



67 



i 'Human character is especially formed and devel- 
oped in the exertions which men in general are con- 
strained to make, to provide for necessities which they 
cannot neglect or throw off. Here a thousand trials in 
a thousand forms arise. Here temptation lurks. Here 
enterprise, benevolence, integrity, are sure to find the 
touchstone. Whoever refuses to become familiar with 
these exertions, stands aloof from the scenes where 
human character is often developed in its most attract- 
ive or repulsive forms.* Into these scenes, as an actor, 
let the student enter. To provide for his daily wants, 
let him seek opportunities, form plans, put forth efforts. 
He will obtain a thousand just and striking views of 
the human heart. His own will sometimes meet him 
under aspects which he had never dreamed of. While 
he finds, in the most substantial forms, the relaxationf 

* I shall not, I hope, be understood to say, that to provide for his 
daily wants should be with the student a leading object of solicitude and 
effort. Such a position I am far from taking. But, " made up' 1 of 
soul and body as he is, he cannot meet the demands of his constitution 
without uniting manual with mental labor. Why, then, should not his 
muscles be employed in making provision for his daily wants ? Why 
should he not, in a course of liberal discipline, acquire the habit of 
exerting his corporeal powers usefully, without interrupting or retarding 
his intellectual progress ? He might thus escape from the embarrass- 
ment whi$h greatly cripples most men upon entering on the scenes of 
active life under the pressure of prof essional responsibilities. To what 
a sad extent do they not generally give up the labors of the student ! 
And how common is the plea, that necessity, growing out of the duties 
of active life, constrains them to do so. Had they been taught, as 
students, to turn their muscular exertions to good account in subserv- 
iency to their mental efforts, would such a plea ever have been found 
upon their lips ? 

f In the last number of the Christian Spectator, [September, 1833,] 
doctrines are taught on this subject which are, I think, unsound in prin 



68 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



which studious habits need, he will be cultivating some 
of the best attributes of Christian character. He will 

ciple and injurious in their tendency. We have but a very limited and 
superficial view of the object which "the student" at a public school 
may justly be expected to pursue, when we are reminded that it is 
" scholarship." If it be not his object to qualify himself to be as usef ul 
as his powers, opportunities and resources will admit, in the sphere of 
activity in which he may be called to move, his " scholarship" is a mat- 
ter of small importance to himself or others. His scholarship derives 
all its value from its relation to a higher, nobler object. It should be 
sought, therefore, in direct and full subserviency to that higher, nobler 
object. To sacrifice fitness for public service to mere scholarship, is to 
sacrifice tJie end to the means. This doctrine should be deeply impressed 
upon every student, in every stage of education, from the infant school 
to the university. 

Fitness for public service, usefulness, should be the object to which 
all the arrangements, of any sort, in our institutions of learning, should 
be most carefully adjusted. This should be held up before the eyes of 
our young men who are engaged in literary labor, in a commanding 
form and an attractive light. Unless it can be made to fasten strongly 
on their hearts, what good can their scholarship, whatever it may be, 
do them ? Give this an engrossing place in their affections, and you 
will find it easy to settle the inquiry, in what sort of exercise will they 
find the most relaxation and delight. It must be that, which while it 
gives the requisite play to the muscles, will contribute most to the 
advancement of the object to which they are devoted. And the dis- 
cipline which fails to make some such exercise truly grateful to the studeid, 
must be ivretchedly defective. 

The argument derived from the natural influence of tasks, as such, 
has in my view very little weight. I do not see how he can feel its 
force, whose will is in harmony with acknowledged obligations. What! 
are our students to be taught that a service can be no longer voluntary 
than it is left unrequired ? May they not find delight in the perform- 
ance of their duty? And so, they must hate their books, as well as 
loathe the exercise, which belong to the prescribed course, however 
dictated by wisdom and benevolence. So long as they breathe the 
wicked spirit of this doctrine, I shall regard my children as miserably 
unfit for the service of the Saviour. 

I think that the illustration derived from "the mechanic boy" is far 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



69 



learn to sympathize, moreover, deeply with his breth- 
ren in humble life, who of all men have the strongest 

enough from happy. What if, instead of a "leisure hour for play" he 
should daily devote so much time to books ? W r ould he not be as well 
prepared for the labors of the shop ? W r ould not his general improve- 
ment be as effectually secured ? Could he not be subject to such a dis- 
cipline as to fly from the bench to his books with eagerness and joy? 

What, after all, is the meaning of the word tasks, a term which is 
made by the reviewer in the Christian Spectator to cover an idea so re- 
pulsive to the feelings of the human heart ? The thing, so far as the 
subject in hand is concerned, may be thus explained. To fit himself 
for usefulness, a young man undertakes to cultivate his mind. He 
repairs to a public school. He would avail himself of the benefits 
which the intelligence and wisdom of experienced instructors place 
within his reach. They point out to him the methods by which he may 
secure the object on which his heart is set. In pursuing these methods, 
they offer him their assistance. This they do, not as the stern keepers 
of a gloomy penitentiary, but as the active, devoted, decided friends of 
human improvement — as affectionate fathers among dependent child- 
ren. W r hat is there now in the control they exercise, which must give 
to the methods they prescribe the influence of odious tasks? Why 
may not the will of the instructor and the will of the learner be in sweet 
harmony with each other, so that the latter may voluntarily follow the 
directions of the former? The allusion to the ''wretched English 
operative" is ridiculous enough. " Ye who havv tears, prepare to shed 
them now ! Approach ! Behold P Yonder he is ! — the heart-broken, 
emaciated victim of "tasks," who is hastening under the pressure of 
nameless burdens to a premature grave ! Can you endure a glance at 
the condition to which a "cruel barter," in which his "liberty" is ex- 
changed for "pecuniary profit" — "miserable condition!" — has reduced 
him ! See, then, his noble spirit, panting for liberty, no sooner escapes 
from the dead weight of Latin and Greek, or mathematics and philoso- 
phy, than, instead of being kindly permitted to run wild amidst scenes 
of dissipation and riot — scenes in which college windows are often 
broken in, encounters with vulgar townsmen are often hazarded — it is 
"cr-weZft/" tied up to a wood-pile or work-bench, or confined within a 
fi Id or garden ! What parent that cares for the future usefulness and 
happiness of the child he loves, will ever consent to see him crushed 
by such high-handed, "task"-ful tyranny? 



70 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



claims on his affectionate regard. He will be happily 
prepared, whenever he may enter on his official course, 
to estimate their character, trials, various necessities. 
He will gain, moreover, at an early point in his career, 
a strong hold upon their sympathies. There is nothing 
common people hate more heartily than the lofty airs 
and imposing strut of the self-complacent student. 
They cannot bear the sight of him. If he approaches 
them, their blood flows back upon their hearts, just as 
if with naked feet they had trodden on a serpent. 
But how soon they give their confidence to the man of 
letters, who, when he has shut his book or thrown 
aside his pen, can cheerfully join with them in their 
humble labors. The axe, or spade, or scythe he 
wields, has all the magic virtues of a key, to unlock 
the fountain of good feeling in their bosoms. Of all 
their brothers, they know not a dearer one than he. 
And when he would impress instruction, admonition, 

Mark the course of a clergyman whose views and tastes are conformed 
to the 41 general opinion," which our reviewer finds it very convenient 
to pronounce always right in such cases. Oh ! these hateful tasks 
Preparation for the pulpit is u put off" as long as possible ; it is a task. 
It is undertaken reluctantly. How can the exercise be " voluntary" ? 
— it is a task ! Every thing connected with his high vocation is done 
heartlessly ; for every such thing is a task. Every effort requisite to 
support his family, too, a task, a task ! The man of God only then 
breathes the air of freedom, when he voluntarily wields the fish-pole, 
points the fowling-piece, or, with his heels upon the mantel-piece, 
handles his pipe or cigar! Why should the bachelor of arts review 
the studies of his college ? The thought of them reminds his shrink- 
ing soul of the day of tasks. Why should not the young theologian 
sell his Hebrew lexicon and Bible ? They are of no further use to him ; 
he has done with such tasks ! 

Such notions have already done the Church and the world irreparable 
injury. The Christian Spectator ought not to have increased their 
authority and currency. 



SEKMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



71 



or reproof upon them, they will give him their naked 
hearts. He may freely lay his hand upon the very 
cords which shrunk from the touch of the stately 
scholar. 

" Besides, it should not be forgotten, that our inde- 
pendence depends as much upon the fewness of our 
wants, as upon the largeness of our resources. What 
a pitiable case, to be oppressed with the dead weight 
of factitious helplessness ! Even honest crutches are 
better than foreign muscles. The student who depends 
upon the providence and labor of a score of servants 
— who glories in the baby whiteness, and plumpness, 
and softness of his frame — may, for aught I know, be 
preparing himself for some useful place. The milliner 
can tell. But the conversion of the world demands 
sterner stuff than he is made of. "What could he do 
when brought into rough contact with the rank pride 
and gross selfishness which the reformer must encoun- 
ter? Look upon John the Baptist. What burning 
truths he pours upon the hearts of wicked men around 
him ! How plainly he instructs ! How pointedly he 
warns ! How sternly he rebukes ! With what an 
iron grasp he fastens his hand upon the conscience ! 
With what a strong arm he forces bad men to look 
into the mouth of hell ! A thousand hearts quiver 
with emotion! A thousand bosoms burn with pas- 
sion ! A thousand faces flash with rage ! Amidst the 
elements which war around him, the reformer stands 
like a rock amongst the waves. And for this position, 
the labors of the wilderness, with his locusts to eat, 
and his camel's hair to wear, had eminently fitted him. 



" The study of foreign tongues is eminently friendly 



72 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



to habits of attention. In intellectual discipline, one of 
the first things to be attempted, often, is to rouse the 
mind from long-indulged listlessness. It needs to be 
recalled from fruitless reveries, idle musings, vagrant 
flights. Among sights and sounds to which, from its 
earliest consciousness, it had been in some sort familiar, 
it feels no deep and stirring interest in any thing. The 
things it has to do with, it seems to know without 
effort or inquiry. Their forms float along before the 
eye like old acquaintance, without leaving behind any 
accurate and definite impression. Nothing is care- 
fully examined, distinctly seen, clearly apprehended. 
Even the words and sentences of books glide along 
beneath the eye, without coming home to the soul as 
the intelligible representatives of substantial, living 
thoughts. I have seen men who would devour whole 
libraries, without attending to any thing they read If 
by chance it came in their way, to Bailey's Dictionary 
they would give a regular perusal. What is better for 
such a state of mind than the study of a foreign lan- 
guage ? Here every form and sound are new and 
strange. Nothing can be got by guessing. Xo mate- 
rials are here for idle reveries. The things which 
come to view must be looked at, handled, weighed. 
Every form, under every aspect and relation, must 
come home to the busy thoughts. It will not do to 
leave the least turn or slightest shade unnoticed. Such 
neglect, where so much depends on little things, may 
work inexplicable confusion. The things thus marked 
must be steadily contemplated. Nothing can be done 
by transient glances. Their forms must be engraven 
on the soul. They must be held fast, that they may 
be arranged side by side in such order as their relative 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



73 



significance and respective offices require. To perform 
such a task, the mind must give up its listlessness. It 
must renounce its vagrant habits. It must wake up its 
energies. It must gird itself to action. It must collect 
its forces and hold them long engaged. It can hardly 
fail to secure what Eobert Hall justly regards as one 
of the most valuable of mental acquisitions, the habit of 
attention. 

But look again. Every word examined has various 
significations. Though they may all claim some sort 
of affinity to, widely may the metaphorical differ from, 
the literal ; and what a variety of meanings may come 
between them ! The meaning of a term is to be deter- 
mined. The lexicon is opened. Of the ten meanings 
which it enumerates, which shall be selected — the first, 
second, or third — the metaphorical or literal ? From 
the position where the word is found, the eye goes 
backward and forward. Something must be hit on 
which may agree with the connection. Trial after 
trial, effort upon effort, must be submitted to. Wit- 
nesses are questioned ; evidence is analyzed ; conflict- 
ing pleas are listened to; statutes, precedents, analo- 
gies, on the one side and the other are urged, till at 
length, after much solicitude and inquiry, conviction is 
admitted, and a sentence pronounced. What an exer- 
cise of mind have you here ! Which of its powers is 
not called up and tasked ? How loud and imperious 
is the demand here made upon the memory, judgment, 
taste ! And then, the mind is put upon the same exer- 
cises which the every day occurrences of real life re- 
quire. This sifting of testimony; this weighing of 
probabilities; this adjusting of analogies; this looking 
forward and backward ; the trying of one thing, and 
4 



SERMONS AND DISCOUBSES. 



then another, to hit upon the right conclusion ; how 
much this is like what we have to do, in the convic- 
tions we admit and the doctrines we act upon, in pro- 
moting all our various interests, temporal and spiritual, 
for this life and the "life to come!'' Why, this is 
manifestly the training we need to enable us to act 
with vigor and skill at the posts of usefulness to which 
we may respectively be called. Here the memory will 
be trained to arrange its various stores methodically. 
Here, long exercised in comparing and discriminating, 
the judgment will grow ripe and sound. And here 
the taste, too, long employed in arranging things in 
the places where they naturally belong, will acquire 
correctness and delicacy. 

"What method, moreover, can be conceived of, bet- 
ter fitted to promote acquaintance with mankind, than 
the process of translating ? Ilere a slight and general 
acquaintance will not answer. You must lay hold on 
subtil thoughts, skittish fancies, the nicer shades of 
sentiment, and give them a new dress in which they 
shall move with all their native ease and sprightliness. 
You must be the interpreter of an old Hebrew, or 
Greek, or Eoman, or of a cotemporary of your own 
from Germany, or France, or Italy. "Without any 
mixture of your own, you must express his thoughts, 
imaginations, emotions. You must give the workings 
of his spirit through the expression of his countenance. 
Say now, can you do all this without forming a most 
intimate acquaintance with him ? Will you not have 
to lay your heart in contact with his heart — to put 
your soul in his soul's stead ? How else can he look 
through your eyes, and speak through your lips? 
Hew else can your mind conceive his thoughts, and 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



75 



your imagination form his ideas, and your bosom burn 
with his passions, and your heart quiver with his emo- 
tions ? And what if he fairly represent his age and 
nation ? — what if he be a just specimen of human na- 
ture over a large portion of the globe ? Does he not 
promote your knowledge of mankind ? Thus, by the 
same means by which you discipline your powers, you 
further your acquaintance with the mass of humanity 
on which you expect to operate." 

" The doctrine seems to be extensively admitted, 
that both those who are imparting and those who, are 
receiving the influence of a liberal education, ought to 
stand aloof from those great questions which may agi- 
tate the spirit and involve the happiness of nations. 
Especially should they beware of trying in any way to 
turn the stream of public sentiment into a new chan- 
nel. They ought to know that the sovereign people 
will not bear to see them touch such matters. Eank 
prejudice, gross deception, crushing violence, may pre- 
vail around them. The strong may trample on the 
weak. Iron-handed tyranny may throttle new victims 
every day, and, while shedding human blood, may bid 
defiance to earth and heaven. But they must not say 
a word. They may offend somebody. Among their 
patrons may be found apologists for sin. And these 
men will not consent to see either the instructor or the 
student examining positions, carrying on discussions, 
admitting convictions, which may expose and condemn 
popular error and prevalent crimes. Tinkers, cobblers, 
and ditchers, may think freely and speak boldly. But 
they* must learn to suppress their thoughts and tie up 

* Witness the efforts which have been made by the appointed guard- 



76 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOUESES. 



their tongues, unless they can join in the shout of the 
multitude around them ! 

" Where such doctrine came from, I shall not under- 
take to show. This I am certain of, that many of its 
advocates would see, if they would examine it, that it 
is drenched in absurdity and sin. What! Those who 
are devoted to intellectual labor ; who are raised to a 
higher point of observation than their fellows ; whose 
views of human relations, and duties, and prospects, 
are clearer, wider, more comprehensive ; who are ex- 
pected to take a leading part in the conversion of the 
world ; these men must consent, as teachers and pupils, 
to pass like rotten wood, or dead fish, down the stream 
of public sentiment ! On, on they must go, straight or 
crooked, swiftly or slowly, now buried in the mud, and 
now whirled in the eddy, according to the pleasure of 
the element they float in ! The rags which hang upon 
the beggar's limbs, and the ditch he sleeps in, are bet- 
ter than such bondage ! 

"What is the end of education? Is it not to wake 
up the soul, open its eyes on surrounding scenes, and 
train it happily to act its allotted part ? And what can 
better rouse it than those stirring things which agitate 
the world ? Let it now, in its appropriate place, mingle 
freely in the scenes where it must ere long expend its 
energies. Here let it try its powers, and prepare itself 
for action. Never fear that by so doing it will be less 
able to see into the subtilties, unravel the perplexities, 
and grapple with the difficulties of literature and sci- 
ence. The spirit, girt for action, will accomplish any 
kind of intellectual labor with such ease and effect as 



ians of some of our public schools, to exclude from them a thorough 
discussion of the doctrine of human rights. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



77 



the torpid mind never dreams of. Let those who are 
engaged in the work of education look upon themselves 
as an integral part of the busy world ; let them take a 
deep interest in human weal and woe ; let them, in their 
proper place, and to the full extent of their resources, 
exert themselves to bless mankind. Thus, amidst the 
transactions of real life, let them seek the development 
and ripening of their powers." 

To these paragraphs I add, as illustrating in some 
vital respects the ground which I felt bound, as a 
scholar and a teacher, to cultivate, two extracts from a 
paper, addressed by the Board of Instruction and Gov- 
ernment of the Institute to the public. 

" Time enough to secure an education truly liberal, to 
prepare the scholar to enter on what are called profes- 
sional studies with a good grace and high advantage, we 
believe our course consumes. Nothing essential to such 
a design, we think, is overlooked. We are aware, that 
in every department of science or literature to which 
we introduce the student, more time than the whole 
course engrosses^ might be spent, and, for some pur- 
poses, spent to good advantage. But for young men in 
general, at the different ages and in the various circum- 
stances in which they commence a life of mental labor, 
we think four years may be enough to devote to libe- 
ral education. 

" Perhaps no feature in our course of study will at- 
tract more attention, and awaken more inquiry, than 
the substitution of the Hebrew for the Latin language. 
We may justly be expected to give our reasons for this 
preference. We begin, then, by remarking, that for 



78 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



scholars in general the acquisition of the Latin tongue 
seems to us to have lost much of its former importance. 

u 1. Helps to the acquisition of other languages are no 
longer confined to the Latin. We may now introduce 
our sons to the Greek and Hebrew through our own 
mother English. 

"2. The Latin has to a great extent ceased to be the 
language of learned men. They are not ashamed or 
afraid to enrich the world with their best thoughts in 
the 1 tongues wherein they were born.' 

11 8. The few works of distinguished worth which are 
now written, say in Germany, and to which our scholars 
in general need to have access, our enterprising book- 
sellers will hardly fail to have translated. 

"4. It can hardly be affirmed, on any just grounds, 
that the acquisition of the Latin is necessary to obtain 
the knowledge of our own tongue. However great the 
number of words incorporated in it which had their 
origin in that language, it will not, we think, be as- 
serted by any competent witness, that their current im- 
port can generally be ascertained by etymology. The 
meaning of a term may be accurately and certainly 
known without studying its history. Its signification 
depends wholly on usage, the usage which now prevails, 
however it might have been employed in earlier ages. 
With this usage, whatever it may be, we are to form 
an acquaintance as with other matters of fact. If any 
language must be employed in subserviency to the 
study of our own, might not a better than the Latin be 
selected — better, as entering more vitally into the struc- 
ture of the English ? 

" We shall not, we hope, be understood as decrying 
the study of this noble tongue. We are far enough 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



79 



from that. A number of languages we could easily 
refer to, as opening to the student wide and fruitful 
fields of research. The enterprising scholar who may 
choose to enter them, we shall be very slow to discou- 
rage. If any influence of ours may be requisite to aid 
him, so far as we may be able, we shall rejoice promptly 
and cordially to exert it. But in a course of study oc- 
cupying like ours four years, we could not resist the 
conviction, that better results might be expected from 
joining the Hebrew, instead of the Latin, to the Greek. 

"1. The means now within our reach for acquiring 
the Hebrew language, may well be regarded as excel- 
lent, cheap and abundant. Some of the best scholars 
in the world are devoting their time and strength to 
those who are engaged in this work, by furnishing 
them with the happiest methods and the best helps. 

" 2. We can see no ground to doubt that the study 
of this language may justly be expected to contribute as 
much as any other, whatever it may be, to the proper 
ends of intellectual discipline. A language which con- 
tains such multiplied, various, and admirable specimens 
of the beautiful and grand — of exquisite poetry and 
commanding eloquence — of majestic thought combined 
with the purest sentiment and the most correct taste — 
as the most accomplished scholars have eagerly and 
emphatically ascribed to the Hebrew, cannot but be 
well adapted to the appropriate objects of a liberal 
education. 

"The substantial masses of living thought which 
are embodied in this language, make its acquisition a 
treasure, unspeakably rich, to every student. The most 
important subjects, which at the most vital points affect 
human happiness, are discussed with infinite wisdom, 



80 



SEH3IOXS A2sD DISCOURSES. 



and decided on divine authority. How can the Christ- 
ian scholar, in whatever sphere of usefulness he may 
expect to move, consent to pursue a course of study 
which overlooks the medium through which God saw 
fit to reveal his will ? 

" 4. The complaint has been made on high author- 
ity, that with the kind of liberal education which has 
been generally sought in our country, young men are 
ill-qualified to engage in the studies appropriate to sa- 
cred literature. No small part of the time which in a 
theological course is devoted to this most interesting 
and important department, is consumed in acquiring 
the elements of the Hebrew language. How unhappy 
an arrangement this must be, any one can easily per- 
ceive who will extend it to the study of the Greek Tes- 
tament. Let him ask himself, How much progress in 
sacred literature could any student be expected to make 
at the theological seminary, who should commence his 
course with the Greek alphabet? To us it appears 
clear and certain, that before entering upon a direct 
preparation for the pulpit, he ought to be able to read, 
with facility and correctness, both his Greek and He 
brew Testaments. If, after leaving the Institute, any 
of our students should wish to acquire the Latin tongue, 
they could hardly lack the means of doing so. Such 
an acquisition, in the present state of literature in our 
country, is much more easily made than the acquisition 
of the Hebrew. Even admitting, then, that the two 
languages are of equal worth, since one only can be 
studied in a course of liberal education, the Hebrew, we 
think, should have the* preference. 

"In selecting from Greek writers the pages which 
most deserve the attention of our students, we have felt 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 81 

a deep solicitude to make a happy choice. That a pro- 
minent place should be given to the New Testament, 
we had not the slightest doubt. To this we could not 
hesitate to add selections from the Septuagint. Then 
came the question, Shall Christian writers, such as the 
Greek fathers, be preferred to pagan ? In attempting 
to settle this question, we soon found that serious em- 
barrassments were to be encountered. For, alas ! even 
in the midst of learned Christians, to whom could we 
betake ourselves for instruction and advice ? General 
assertions we could find, that one and another of the 
Greek fathers were greatly distinguished for their ex- 
tensive learning and impressive eloquence. One of 
them Erasmus ranked among the greatest orators of 
antiquity; and another had a " golden mouth." But 
who among our friends had carefully read their pages ? 
In what market could they be procured ? Probably in 
France or Germany. Tholuck, we perceived, in such 
works for instance as his Commentary on the Romans, 
had enriched and adorned his paragraphs with frequent 
quotations from these fathers. But who could tell us 
in what form, and at what expense, such books could 
be obtained in the German market? Ten thousand 
artists had been eager, and active, and skilful in con- 
structing golden urns to preserve the dust of pagan 
writers ; but where was the stick or stone which could 
point us to the neglected bones of the Christian fathers ? 
The old red-faced lecher, Anacreon, had heralds enough 
to shout his praises, and conduct his steps into the hall 
of learning. In spite of ulcerous arms and fetid breath, 
he must be permitted freely and fondly to embrace our 
children — admirable for his harmonious numbers and 
mellifluous tongue in singing the worthy praises of 
4* 



82 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



1 lust and wine!' But the names and paragraphs of 
Christian writers, who honored the Greek tongue with 
the office of expressing their thoughts and feelings, for 
aught most of the learned of our country knew or 
cared, they had perished amidst the rubbish of by-gone 
ages ! Their loss was not to be regretted while one old 
pagan priest, or poet, or philosopher could be found, 
to help us 4 train up our children in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord !' Is there nothing disgusting, 
reyolting, injurious, in such a state of things ? 

M We may very probably be warned, that we expose 
our students to a vitiated taste, by introducing them to 
a familiar acquaintance with such authors as we seem 
to prefer. None but good Greek, we may be assured, 
should find a place in a course of liberal study. Per- 
haps we shall be pardoned, if we should sometimes suf- 
fer ourselyes to be amused with the sources whence 
such admonitions may proceed. It would not be yery 
strange, if some stout and yehement objector to any 
other than good Greek, should betray some embarrass- 
ment when asked to define the object of his admiration. 

M When is the language which appears on any printed 
page good? When it presents the objects which it 
undertakes to describe, in their natural forms, relations, 
and circumstances ; when, for instance, it giyes us the 
inward states or outward conditions, the thoughts, feel- 
ings, and visible doings of the human creatures about 
whom it may be employed, clearly, appropriately, at- 
tractively ; when it is found to be a clear and certain 
medium, through which we may see the things to which 
it calls our notice. Now the Greek language, as a me- 
dium of communication between mind and mind, must^ 
of course, in order to be good, be adapted to the train- 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



83 



ing to which, those minds had been subjected, and the 
circumstances in which they were placed. Indeed, the 
symbols which the living spirit employs to describe its 
states, its thoughts and feelings, will naturally derive 
from it their character and complexion. They will 
partake more or less fully and manifestly of all the 
changes which it may experience. A language, then, 
radically and essentially the same, may at different pe- 
riods of a nation's history be marked by very different 
modifications and peculiarities, and remain at every step 
of its progress from one state to another equally good. The 
Greek which was spoken at Athens in the height of her 
glory, might be marked by peculiarities very unlike 
those by which the Greek which prevailed there was 
distinguished after the conquests of Philip and Alexan- 
der, and its substantial worth and attractive power re- 
main unaffected. At every step of its progress from 
Attic to common, it might be a medium of communica- 
tion between mind and mind, clear and certain. The 
modifications which from time to time affected it, might 
be the natural results of changes in the condition of 
those whose language it was. But these changes, 
whatever they might be, need not necessarily involve 
any diminution of mental power and cultivation. 

" The language employed by the writers of the is ew 
Testament and by the Greek fathers, it may be alleged, 
such authors as Xenophon and Plato would never have 
chosen. So we suppose. But what then ? Might it 
not, for all that, have subserved the ends for which lan- 
guage is used, as directly, fully, and happiLv, as that of 
Plato or Xenophon ? Might it not present its objects 
in a light as clear, as strong, as certain ? Might it not 
have derived its peculiar modifications, and specific 



84 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



cast, FROM HABITS OF MIND as attractive and valuable as 
those of any pagan writers f Might it not boast of ex- 
cellencies and beauties of its own ? 

"The common Greek of the New Testament, it is 
cheerfully admitted, is strongly marked by peculiarities 
which owe their origin to the Hebrew Scriptures. Such 
a style every candid reader would expect the apostles 
to employ, who should keep his eye upon the training 
which they had received, upon their habits of thought 
and feeling, upon the circumstances in which they were 
placed. The common Greek, as in their day it was gen- 
erally prevalent wherever this tongue was spokea^ 
would naturally form the basis and body of their lan- 
guage. At the same time, their regard for the Hebrew 
Scriptures, or the version of the Seventy, would na- 
turally betray itself in the modes and forms of speech 
they might be led to select. Thus their style would be 
the necessary result of the mental habits which they had 
contracted. It would be the appropriate, intelligible 
expression of their views, convictions and emotions. 
Its weight and worth mast correspond with the charac- 
ter of the living spirit from which it proceeded. If that in 
Paul had as much of substantial worth, of subduing 
charms, as that in Xenophon, it is not easy to see how 
the language of the former, as a source of interest and 
a means of improvement, would be inferior to that of 
the latter. We would recommend to those who regard 
the classic page only as distinguished for excellency of 
speech, to read Hug's graphic, lively, ingenious descrip- 
tion of the character of Paul as a writer. 

" The peculiar cast which the language of the New 
Testament derives from its relation to that of the 01d ? 
we regard as a high excellence. Where could mind 



SEKMOXS AND D1SCOUKSES. 



85 



have been formed in happier circumstances or under 
better influences, than in the school of Moses and the 
prophets ? Where could lessons of instruction be found, 
superior in weight, or more felicitous in form ? Where 
were topics handled which had a more powerful bear- 
ing on mental improvement ? Where could higher assist- 
ance be expected in whatever goes to promote the cultivation 
and perfection of the human spirit ? How then could 
the influence of the Hebrew Scriptures upon the style 
of the Is ew Testament be in any important respect un • 
happy ? It is a high advantage to the Christian stu- 
dent, that in order fully to apprehend the import of the 
New Testament, he must carefully study the Old. He 
has a powerful motive to acquaint himself with that 
which in itself, and in its bearing on the Christian dis- 
pensation, is of unutterable importance. How can the 
Hebrew Scriptures sink into general neglect, till the Christ- 
ian student forgets that the apostolic page is then most lu- 
minous, when read in the light which they shed upon it ? 

" Of the peculiarities of style which mark the Greek 
fathers we know little. Indignation mingles with the 
shame we feel in making this acknowledgment. Why 
our f nursing fathers' in the schools should have with- 
held from us such food, we are sure we do not know. 
We expect to find in these writers, both in thought and 
language, a near and manifest relationship to the sacred 
penmen. This, in our view, is a sufficient reason why, 
unless extraordinary circumstances forbid, they should 
be preferred to pagan strangers." 

" Systematic manual labor, we are aware, is regarded 
by some as unfriendly to high mental effort. In a kind 
of maxim-like way, it has sometimes been objected to 



86 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



it that u it cramps genius /" If this saying has any 
thing of sublimity, it must be wholly owing to its 
vagueness and obscurity. Those who regard indolence 
and irregularity as sure marks of genius, will be apt to 
receive it without hesitation or inquiry. But if genius 
consist in greatness of soul — in a larger amount of the 
intellectual element than foils to the lot of common 
men — must it not repay with a rich harvest sj^stematic 
efforts at cultivation ? The only ground on which dis 
cipline can in any case act and operate, is found in 
mind — in the susceptibilities and powers with which 
the soul is gifted. The more vigorous any mind may 
be, the broader and better is the ground thus furnished. 
He must have a keen discernment, who can perceive in 
this a reason why education should give up its methods 
and relax its system. But system, as such, we may 
perhaps be told, is . unfriendly to the full and happy 
development of genius. We wonder why. System 
consists in the combination of the methods and means 
of education into a connected and harmonious " whole," 
in which every thing shall have its proper place and 
office. These means and methods, we admit, should 
be adapted to the subject on which they are employed ; 
but why they may not receive the shape and exert the 
influence of system with advantage to the most gigantic 
genius, we have yet to learn. We are sure they must, 
if genius is to be trained for useful action. 

" To manual labor, as a part of the discipline main- 
tained at a public school, it is objected by some, that 
its imposition by authority must bereave it of all healthful 
influence. Thus imposed, it is said, exercise becomes a 
task, and, as a task, irksome and hateful. To do him 
good, the student's exercise must be voluntary ; other- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



87 



wise it cannot be delightful and refreshing. Such 
views are as shallow as they are specious. Current to 
a wide extent they may continue long to be, since they 
are urged on high authority, and fall in with some of 
the strongest tendencies of a corrupt heart. These views 
are evidently based on the principle, that an act or habit 
cannot be voluntary, which proceeds from a regard to obli- 
gation. But what if our wills are conformed to our 
duties, so that we choose to do just what we are right- 
eously required to do? What difference would then 
obtain between voluntary action and incumbent duties ? 
And what is the appropriate design and natural result 
of Christian education ? Is it not to bring the human 
spirit cordially, skilfully and vigorously to subserve the 
will of God, and to find a deep, copious and unfailing 
source of happiness in so doing ? Is not that system ra- 
dically defective, which overlooks or fails to secure 
this object? What is that training good for, which 
leaves the student averse to any of the various duties 
which his relations to God or man impose upon him ? 

"What, in any case, we would ask, leads a man to 
prefer idle sport to useful action ? Such a preference, 
we cannot help thinking, indicates a bad state of the 
affections. Can we conceive that the Son of Mary 
would have thrown down the tools of the carpenter to 
wield the ball-club or the fish-pole ? Surely, many of 
his followers who have been devoted to mental toil, 
have found relaxation, refreshment and delight, in giv- 
ing a portion of their time and strength to agricultural 
efforts or mechanical pursuits. With a proper training, 
we believe, every student would become a partaker in 
the benefits in which they rejoice." 



The following Discourse is occupied with a subject 
which, among my thoughts, is of the highest signifi- 
cance. Its bearings are every way manifestly vital. 
Piety and Philanthropy mutually involve each other. 
The Prerogatives of God, and the Eights of Man, are 
supported by one and the same foundation. To neglect 
the one is to ignore the other. To assail the one is to 
trample on the other. To reverence the one is to vene- 
rate the other. Let these broad statements be examined 
and disposed of in the light which the following Dis- 
course affords. The conclusions here insisted on, I 
labored unceasingly and very variously, to illustrate 
and commend amidst my relations to the Oneida In- 
stitute. 



GOD AND HUMANITY. 



u If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar ; for he 
that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love 
God whom he hath not seen ?" — 1 John 4 : 20. 

Well may we bring home to our business and bo- 
soms this broad and emphatic declaration. It implies 
views of human nature with its relations, which we can- 
not but regard as equally just and profound. It opens 
the way for inferences, as significant as they are prac- 
tical. The light it sheds upon our pathway, is clear 
and certain, revealing the chain w r hich binds heaven 
and earth together. 

To the lesson which the Apostle here teaches, we 
may give utterance in some such form as the following : 
Our regard, whatever it may be, for God, the Universal 
Father, we cherish and express through our regard, what- 
ever it may be, for our brethren of the Hitman Family. 

In explaining and commending this lesson, we pro- 
ceed to say, 

1. That He is the substance of ivhich, and the model on 
which, they are fashioned. He is the Creator. That is 
his proper character; the character under which he is 
continually and every where manifesting himself. In 
exerting himself, he is true — cannot but be true to his 
own perfections. In the works of his hands, he makes 
an expression, and therefore a revelation more or less 
clearly and fully of himself. In these works his will 
finds exercise and utterance. And wherever and how- 
ever the Divine Will is made known, there and thus is 
the Godhead revealed. From the creature as such, to 



90 



SERMONS AXI) DISCOURSES. 



the extent, and within the compass, of its existence, we 
may ascend to the Creator ; and from the Creator we 
may descend to the creature, just so far as in the crea- 
ture His powers were brought into requisition. Thus 
the creature lives in the Creator and the Creator mani- 
fests himself through the creature. From the latter, 
then, we may infer the existence and the attributes of 
the former. 

Out of noticing, Grod does not construct the various 
objects to which we have access. Far otherwise. The 
origin of things, we find in that, which is infinitely the 
opposite of nothing. The Divine Will is an unfathom- 
able, exhaustless source of existence. Essentially crea- 
tive, it contains within itself whatever may be requi- 
site to the construction of the entire creation. Of what- 
ever IS) He is the substance — the basis, the soul, the 
life of universal being. 

Not only is Human Nature derived from the high 
source thus described ; it also is a high type of creative 
power. In it, the Divine perfections are brought into 
fuller exercise and through it are in more respects and 
more clearly developed than in any other object, to 
which we have access. Man is armed with the Active 
Faculty and endowed with the light, as he is subject to 
the laws, of Reason. Upon his structure is impressed 
the Divine image. On this, as his highest dignity, his 
chief glory — the soul and substance of his personality, 
the sacred writers strongly insist. He is conscious of 
the Laws on which he was modelled — by which he is 
pervaded and vitajized and controlled ; and thus is he 
conscious of the presence and authority of the Creator. 
Through these Laws he may comprehend the purposes, 
subserve the designs, support the authorit}', and enjoy 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



91 



the perfections, of the Majesty, who gave him breath. 
Thus may he rise to intimate fellowship with the Uni- 
versal Father— rise to the very summit of blessedness. 
Thus from himself the Creator furnished for man the 
substance and the model. 

True it is, that in the exercise of his powers, as endow- 
ed with personality, he has departed from the model on 
which his nature was fashioned. The laws of his ex- 
istence he has broken ; and has thus been thrown from 
his balance, lost self-possession, plunged into darkness. 
He has rushed into folly and misery — has involved 
himself in guilt and degradation. But the Divine Law 
still remains legible upon his heart — the Divine Au- 
thority still shines upon his consciousness — the Divine 
Image still characterizes his personality. Just so far 
as he is a man he is still God-like. 

Human Nature, then, just so far as it is Human 
Nature, is a mirror, from which the face of the Creator 
is reflected. Of him, it is a manifestation — a revela- 
tion. In it and through it he approaches us — brings 
us into his presence. In and through it, he addresses 
us in a variety of relations — on innumerable occasions ; 
demanding and expecting at our hands a very various 
exertion and manifestation of ourselves. Our regard, 
then, for Human Nature, whatever it may be, cannot 
but be our regard for the Universal Father ; a mani- 
festation of the latter we have in every expression of 
the former. 

2. The relations we sustain to Him and to them are 
mutually implied in each other. 

God is absolutely our Father. From his bosom as 
their origin — the source of their existence, sprung the 
Human Family. They are his offspring — his children. 



92 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



In their mutual relations to eacli other, they are breth- 
ren. The relations which they thus sustain to each 
other, imply the relation which they all sustain to the 
Universal Father. The one cannot be understood 
without reference to the other. Given the one, the 
other cannot be withheld. The regard which is due 
to the one and the other is substantially the same, 
marked by unessential modifications. Thus the filial 
always implies the fraternal and the fraternal always 
involves the filial. Thus the "second is like unto the 
first" great commandment of the Law. 

Man is, therefore, naturally the symbol of God — the 
Child, of the Father. This is the highest office — the 
chief dignity of which he is capable. He is the me- 
dium through which his brethren are to form and 
mature an acquaintance with their Father. The con- 
structive principles — the organic laws of their exist- 
ence are a revelation through which his attributes and 
designs may be studied and apprehended. To fasten 
a strong hold on these, which are the pith and essence 
of Human Xature, is to cling to him. And however 
we regard these, in the relations which unite us to the 
Human Family so we regard him, in the relations 
which bind us to his heart and his throne. 

From every man, who is true to the constructive 
principles — who is obedient to the organic laws, of his 
existence, we derive a reflection of the very face of our 
Heavenly Father. In these Laws, Order, Justice, 
Love, Beauty, are authoritatively commended to our 
regard. By obedience, we work them into our charac- 
ter — our personality. They thus miugle with our 
very life-blood — vitalize and characterize our very 
being. We thus become just, wise, philanthropic. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



93 



heroic. Now in these attributes we have the charac- 
teristic perfections of* the Godhead. Thus we become 
for the benefit of all our fellows a reflection of our 
Heavenly Father. 

The presence, the attributes, the claims of our Hea- 
venly Father are thus presented to us in a way adapted, 
to our present sphere and mode of existence. To 
symbols we have always been accustomed. They 
have always been the medium, through which v/hat- 
ever of knowledge we possess was acquired. And 
this according to necessities which grow out of our 
present mode of existence. The Creator has filled the 
world with symbols, through which he reveals himself 
to the Human Family. Through these his divinity 
shines all around us. Of these, Man is the chief — 
among these, he stands preeminent. He is the image, 
always constitutionally, sometimes in the development 
and exercise of his powers, of the true Father. And 
he is our brother. We behold his face, we hear his 
voice, we clasp his hand. He stands up before us an- 
other self. We sustain to him a variety of relations — 
have much to do with him in many ways — on many 
occasions. His character, designs, exertions have a 
strong bearing upon our welfare — touch us continually 
at very vital points. If he is wise, we may avail our- 
selves of his wisdom; if foolish, we must suffer by 
his folly. If he is st mg, we may lean upon his 
strength ; if weak, he will add to our burdens. If he 
is magnanimous, true and faithful, we may appropriate 
the elevating, invigorating influence, which he cannot 
but exert ; if mean, false and treacherous, he will be 
more or less the occasion of embarrassment to us. 
And wisdom, power, magnanimity, fidelity are the 



94 



SERM0XS AXD DISCOURSES. 



same attributes in our brother as in our Father — only 
In Him they are infinite and absolute — in them a re- 
flection of his character. As we regard these attributes 
in them so we regard these attributes in him. To 
avail ourselves amidst the practical arrangements of 
life of the presence of the Wise, Strong, Magnanimous, 
Heroic is to recognize his claims upon us — is to ac- 
knowledge his worth — is to worship him. To take 
counsel of the Wise, to seek protection of the Strong, 
to put ourselves under the control of the Magnani- 
mous and Heroic, to repose a deep and grateful confi- 
dence in the Faithful, is to bow before him as our God 
and King. To refuse thus to do, is to reject his claims 
— is to spurn his authority — is to assail his throne. 
To prefer amidst the relations and responsibilities of 
life, the Cunning to the Wise, the Weak to the Strong, 
the Selfish to the Magnanimous, is to exalt the Usurper 
' ; above all that is called God." Thus to prefer the 
vices of mankind to the laws of Human Nature can 
be nothing else than Devil-worship — must be a rash 
and absurd attempt to thrust the Prince of Darkness 
into the place of the Godhead ! Thus are we contin- 
ually manifesting our regard for our Father in Heaven 
through the regard we maintain for our brethren 
around us. 

Thus we are taught that those, who honor the Sav- 
iour, in so doing honor Him from whom the Saviour 
received his commission. He was the image of the 
Father. The Divine perfections shone through the 
Messiah. He was the royal incarnation of them — in 
him they were quickened into human life, in the high- 
est degree vigorous and beautiful. The Father lived 
and spQke through the Son, as the Son of Man ; and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



95 



that in a way adapted to our present mode of exist- 
ence. He lived in the midst of us as a partaker of our 
common nature, under essentially the same relations 
and with essentially the same responsibilities. Thus 
in and through him, the Godhead approached us very 
nearly, even as we are accustomed to estimate and de- 
scribe the near and the distant. He brought his kingly 
powers to bear directly on the arrangements and de- 
signs, with which mankind are occupied. Thus were 
they aroused to his presence and claims. They could 
not help seeing as a practical affair what was his bear- 
ing and what his demands upon them. They could 
not help taking their position in their relations to him 
■ — could not help regarding him, either with the spirit 
of veneration and obedience or with a hostile and re- 
bellious mind. And their regard for him, as the Son 
of Man, was virtually their regard for the Universal 
Father. And the principle, on which we affirm all 
this in relation to the Messiah, requires us to affirm 
the self-same thing in relation to every member of the 
Human Family, whoever, wherever, however he may 
be. Just to the extent, they are like the Messiah in 
constitution, aims, character, are they entitled to the 
same regard as is due to him. And just so far and in 
whatever respects they are opposed to him are we 
bound to extend to them a regard quite the opposite 
of that to which he is entitled. Hence the propriety 
of the declaration, which the Saviour addressed to his 
disciples : " He that receiveth you, receiveth me." 

In review of the ground we have been occupying, 
the mutual bearing upon each other of Philanthropy 
and Piety on the one hand and of Misanthropy and 
Atheism on the other must be apparent. The vital 



98 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



connection of the second table of the Law with the 
first, our Saviour insists upon wisely and emphatically. 
The one, he assures us, is "like unto" the oJLker. The 
one specifically enjoins Philanthropy ; the other Piety. 
As the one command is like unto the other ; so, as I 
have shown, obedience to the one involves obedience 
to the other. Wherever Human Nature, there the 
Divine, is held in just estimation. The more we vene- 
rate God, the more shall we respect Man. And the 
warmer our regard for man, the more fervent will be 
our worship of God. A philanthropy, which does not 
derive the worth of man from his relations to God, is 
spurious ; a piety, which is not nourished and ex- 
pressed through a cordial regard for Human Nature, is 
worthless. To trample upon human rights is to invade 
the Divine prerogatives. To resist the Divine author 
ity is to wage war upon the Human Family. 

Atheism prevails, therefore, wherever Misanthropy 
flourishes. And this, whatever loud professions and 
lofty pretensions may be made to the contrary. AVe 
sometimes hear men talk flippantly and confidently 
about the love of God as if it were their ruling passion. 
They are so jealous for his honor! "With great parti- 
cularity and with much seeming reverence, they enu- 
merate his attributes. They insist strongly upon his 
claims. They urge their fellows to study his charac- 
ter, confide in his word, and engage in his service. 
They acquire a high reputation among their fellows as 
fair examples of allegiance to his throne. All this 
time, however, they treat whatever is essential to hu- 
man personality with contempt. They can see Human 
Nature maligned, reproached, oppressed — put on a 
level with articles of merchandise, without being 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



97 



shocked or roused to opposition. Man as man, is 
nothing in their eyes. In all such cases, whatever 
professions erf piety are made, they are a thin, flimsy 
covering for ill-disguised Atheism. So it is, according 
to the Bible. So it must be, according to the well- 
known nature and fixed relations of things. 

Thus, most certainly and obviously, ive are furnished 
with a test, through which character is made manifest. 
Expensive and imposing arrangements every where 
meet the eye for the worship of God. And this on a 
very various scale, and on multiplied occasions. With- 
out this, almost nothing can be attempted in public. 
At weddings and funerals and all sorts of celebra- 
tions; when almost every kind of meeting is opened 
or closed ; when schools are collected and when 
are dispersed ; when food is received ; when harvests 
are sown and when they are gathered in ; when the 
Bible is expounded; when Psalms are sung; when 
sacraments are solemnized ; the attitude of worship is 
assumed. And so in private ; how very commonly 
are altars erected and sacrifices offered. Domestic 
circles are very frequently drawn together for the wor- 
ship of God, in which parents and children — brothers 
and sisters apparently unite. In all this, how can we 
help recognizing an appearance equally attractive and 
imposing? It is, however, a weighty and reasonable 
inquiry ; how much may all this signify ? In what 
may worship consist ? Clearly, in estimating and treat- 
ing the object to which we may address ourselves, 
according to its worth — giving it the place in our 
thoughts, affections and exertions, to which it may be 
fairly entitled. In this consists the worship of God. 
For this the fairest occasion — the strongest induce- 



9S 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ment may be found in Lis intrinsic, imperishable excel- 
lencies. To recognize tliese, word- wise and deed- wise, 
is to render him worship. To estimate his wisdom, 
goodness, power according to their worth — according 
to what they are as wisdom, goodness, power — this is 
the very pith of the worship he demands. Now wis- 
dom, goodness, power are the same in essence, what- 
ever differences in degree and modification may be to 
be admitted — the same they arc in heaven and upon 
the earth. A wise man, just so far as he is wise, is a 
partaker of the Divine wisdom. Wisdom in him and in 
the Creator is essentially the selfsame attribute. And 
so of every perfection, which in any measure belongs 
to human character. If we render to wisdom its due 
as wisdom in any one case, we shall render it its due 
in ever}' case to which we may have access. Just here, 
then, we may distinguish in the sphere of religious 
worship between true and false appearances. Show 
me a man, who, in the midst of his fellows avails him- 
self, gratefully, of every thing God-like in them ; of 
the wisdom, philanthropy, power, for which any of 
them may be distinguished, and I will show you a true 
worshipper of God. If in any relation, he wields the 
elective franchise, he will do so with, a strict and con- 
stant reference to character. The highest place he will 
assign to the highest qualifications — to the name, which 
represents most clearly and fully the Divine attributes. 
This he will do, to the very best of his abilities, habit- 
ually. And thus he manifests his regard for the 
Divine perfections. 

Another class, the following words from the pen of 
one of the number may introduce into our presence. 
He refers to the next presidential election. Now hear 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



99 



him speak: "The candidate of the League we rever- 
enced over all men living, and, as a man, he was 
entitled to our vote above all other men; while, on 
the other hand, old party associations had embittered 
us toward the Free-soil candidate. But the League 
had no friends in Pennsylvania — not even enough to 
frame an electoral ticket. We could not have retained 
fifty subscribers in support of it. There was then no 
prospect of usefulness in that direction. On the other 
hand, the people were flocking in crowds to the Free- 
soil platform, and there was every prospect of accom- 
plishing much good by going with them."* And so 
our Editor goes with them. And thousands upon 
thousands from different parts of the Eepublic accom- 
pany him. And how, in so doing, are they to be 
regarded ? The name, which they cannot but regard 
with reverence, as entitled to their veneration, they 
postpone, in casting their ballots, to a name distin- 
guished by quite other and opposite attributes. And 
this out of regard, not to their convictions, but to what 
is called availability. They follow the multitude in 
opposition to their own convictions ! And yet they 
dream in multiplied instances, that they are worship- 
pers of God ! But how can this be ? They refuse to 
avail themselves of the God-like excellencies, for which 
they acknowledge one of their fellows is distinguished 
and put their trust, out of regard to the multitude, in 
the idol of the multitude ! Is the worship of God con- 
sistent with that? Surely not. This is to worship 
quite another than God; it is cowardly and treacher- 
ously to bow down to the Usurper. 

* Russell Errett, of the Washington (Pa.) Patriot. 



100 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



The religionists around us profess the warmest regard 
for the Saviour, especially as the Atoning Sacrifice. 
For this purpose, they employ the strongest language 
they are able to select. Jesus Christ and him crucified 
— they try, if possible, to outdo Paul in magnifying 
his merits and exalting his claims. To Him they pro- 
fess to look as the source of every blessing — the ground 
of their salvation. — Now, if in all this, they are at all 
sincere, they will regard every man, who maintains in 
his sphere and amidst his relations the Divine author- 
ity, at whatever hazard or expense, with w^arm com- 
placency and deep veneration. If, for the sake of 
integrity, consistency and fidelity, he exposes himself 
to poverty and reproach — counting wealth, reputation, 
friendship, as nothing in the comparison, they will love 
and trust him as a living symbol of the crucified One. 
They will give him right cordially and gratefully their 
countenance, support, cooperation. Thus will they 
make him a medium, through which their regard for 
Jesus Christ and him crucified may be manifested. 
But the great body of religionists around us move off 
in quite the opposite direction. If any of their fellows 
dares to identify himself with a suffering Saviour by 
hazarding or enduring any thing in honoring the 
Divine authority, they are among the first to decry 
him — to hold him up to suspicion and reproach. They 
heap upon him the most opprobrious epithets. He is, 
they declare, pharisaical, obstinate, headlong — a very- 
fool, who is sacrificing his usefulness and reputation 
and comfort to the ideas, with which he is possessed I 
Thus, as they will hereafter find, they pour contempt 
upon what they profess to venerate, the Cross of 
Christ, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



101 



We often witness attempts to magnify the worth of 
the human soul. For this purpose, the strongest lan- 
guage is chosen and employed with the greatest em- 
phasis. Illustration is added to illustration — argument 
succeeds argument — one figure opens the way for an- 
other. Around what is thus described as of inestima- 
ble worth we are summoned and urged with great 
solemnity and pathos to exert ourselves for its salva- 
tion. We must in this matter serve the Kedeemer, 
who, we are reminded, endured the agonies of cruci- 
fixion for its benefit. Where interests so comprehen- 
sive and commanding are at stake, heaven and earth 
are appealed to for assistance. What prayers, what 
eloquence, what arrangements and processes, what a 
compassing of sea and land, do we not witness in this 
business of soul-saving ! But what is the human soul ; 
what but the personality of you, my brother, and me 
and other members of the Family of Adam — that 
which makes each of us an I myself? And in what 
else can our salvation consist than in being restored, 
each man to himself — restored to self-possession, in- 
ward harmony, the free and vigorous use of our cha- 
racteristic powers — to the prerogatives we are naturally 
entitled to wield, and the privileges we are naturally 
entitled to enjoy? We are then saved when we are 
enabled to discharge our duties and maintain our 
rights. And not otherwise. How can we be saved, 
when for whatever cause, we live in the violation of 
the laws of our own existence ; and, though made in 
the fashion of man, are, whether by our own passions 
or the passions of others, prevented from acting man- 
fully, amidst our relations and responsibilities ? We 
are then exerting ourselves for the salvation of the 



102 



SERMONS AMD DISCOURSES. 



soiil when we endeavor right earnestly to raise our fel- 
lows to the dignity of the nature they inherit: when 
word- wise and deed- wise, we encourage and assist them 
to be what the Creator designed them to be, just, wise 
and strong men, free to employ their powers and ex- 
pend their resources in supporting His authority and 
in promoting the general welfare. 

But alas ! the religionists around us to a great extent 
separate the soul from human personality and place its 
salvation in the Future — in some sphere beyond the 
grave. Salvation with them does not even imply self- 
possession — a restoration to the rights, prerogatives 
and privileges which naturally belong to mankind. 
Nay, many of them invade the rights of their fellows, 
trampling on their personality, and yet affect a lively 
interest in their salvation. They can see Human 
Xature assailed, reduced to the deepest degradation, 
subject to all sorts of insults and injuries, without in- 
dignation — without coming manfully to its assistance. 
They can even go the length of pronouncing slavery 
itself consistent with the scheme of Redemption ! So 
that one may be at the same time a saint and a slave- 
holder — a preacher of righteousness and a trafficker in 
human flesh ! They are quite in favor of missionary 
efforts among the slaves of this republic; not for the 
purpose of proclaiming liberty to the oppressed but a 
future salvation ! They have the effrontery to tell the 
slave, that it is the will of Heaven, that he should 
wear out his present existence, as a chattel: he ought 
therefore to reconcile himself to all the flagrant contra- 
dictions and inconsistencies, which such a condition 
involves. At any rate, they must refuse to exert 
themselves for his deliverance. They are on good 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



103 



terms with his oppressor ; giving him their confidence 
as a sound Christian and a high-souled patriot ! They, 
however, mean to show their good will by exhorting 
the slave to lay up treasures in the unexplored and for 
him the incomprehensible Future! And this, when 
the present life is the only germ, whence fruit for the 
Future can be expected ! When in no other way we 
can reach the Future than through the Present ! 

The following extract from a work, published by 
Bishop Meade, of Virginia, illustrates and confirms the 
statements, thus recorded. The slaves are here ad- 
dressed: " Almighty God hath been pleased to make 
you slaves here, and to give you nothing but labor 
and poverty in this world, which you are obliged to 
submit to, as it is his ivill that it should be so. And 
think within yourselves what a terrible thing it would 
be, after your labors and sufferings in this life, to be 
turned into hell in the next life ; and after wearing 
out your bodies in service here, to go into a far worse 
slavery when this is over, and your poor souls be de- 
livered over into the possession of the Devil, to become 
his slaves forever in hell, without any hope of getting 
free from it." The preacher in the same connection 
assures the slaves, that God "hath set their masters 
and mistresses over them in his own stead" — that they 
are " God's overseers!" Now this general represent- 
ation is part and parcel of the prevalent religion in 
this Eepublic. The Gospel, according to it, does not 
restore men to themselves here, amidst the heaven- 
established relations and arrangements, with which 
they are now connected — it may leave them here and 
now, to oppress or be oppressed — to work without 
wages or to eat without work — it may even busy itself 



104 SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 

in reducing tliem to the deepest degradation and the 
most hopeless misery. The benefits it confers are to 
be come at, nobody knows how, in some unexplored 
Future. There the oppressor and the oppressed will 
in multiplied instances rise from the grave, to which 
they descended in this relation, mutually happy in, and 
with, each other! All this is monstrously absurd — 
horribly false ! As we are amidst the relations we now 
sustain, so must we be hereafter amidst any relations, 
which we can sustain. If in any way we wage war 
upon the personality of our fellow here, we are hostile 
to the salvation of his soul hereafter. To invade his 
rights here is to push him, as far as we can, into hell. 
To make him a slave in this world is to labor to destroy 
him in the future. For as we are amidst the arrange- 
ments of the Visible so shall we be amidst the scenes 
of the Invisible. " For he that hateth his brother whom 
he hath seen, how CAN he love God whom he hath not 
seen V 



In the train of thought next introduced, I aim, on 
the one hand, at exposing a glaring and suffocating ab- 
surdity, which is every where and at all times multi- 
plying its victims ; and on the other, at proclaiming 
and illustrating a primal, generic truth, equally com- 
prehensive, significant and beneficent. The premises 
cannot be assailed without trampling on the ordinances 
of Nature and resisting the authority of the Bible ; the 
inferences cannot be rejected, without falling foul of 
the laws of reason, and ignoring or decrying the logical 
connection of consequent with antecedent. 



5* 



"WORK AND "WAGES. 



" Xeitiier did we eat any man's bread for naught ; but wrought with 
labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to 
any of you : not because we have not power, but to make ourselves 
an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with 
you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither 
should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among 
you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them 
that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that 
with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." — 2 Thess. 
3 : 8-12. 

It was just like the Apostle to illustrate the doc- 
trines he taught by his own example. He was an 
earnest soul ; intent on honoring the profession he had 
made, and accomplishing the work he had undertaken. 
The obligations he urged on others, he welcomed him- 
self to his inmost spirit. Thus his words beautifully 
described his deeds; and his deeds made his words 
perspicuous, significant and impressive. Of all this, 
the text furnishes a striking illustration. Among his 
brethren at Thessalonica, the Apostle had heard that 
there were some who refused to exert themselves in 
the way of productive industry. Of course, they were 
" disorderly." They could not help being " busybo- 
dies." How they spent their time and strength, we are 
not particularly informed. They might have looked 
upon manual labor with contempt as beneath their 
profession and their privileges; and have occupied 
themselves in going from place to place, to indulge in 
mere gossip, religious or otherwise. As they trans- 
gressed the laws of their own existence, and of course 
trampled on the principles of the Gospel, the Apostle 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



107 



reproved them, pointedly and emphatically. He gave 
them distinctly to understand, that the habits they had 
fallen into were of murderous tendency — were against 
the only methods by which life could be sustained. 
How, if they refused to work, could their own neces- 
sities, however pressing, be provided for ? 

The course which the Apostle had himself pursued 
among his Thessalonian brethren, must have made a 
deep impression on them. They could not but remem- 
ber, that waiving all claims to any remuneration for 
his services as a Christian teacher, he applied himself 
to manly toil, and eat his bread through the sweat of 
his brow. How could they help listening to words 
which so manifestly proceeded from the depths of his 
being, and were so strongly confirmed by his cha- 
racter ? 

I shall avail myself of the words of the Apostle to 
illustrate the distinction which widely separates man- 
kind into two classes : the Workers and the Un- 
workers. 

1. The Workers. Who are they? Such as exert them- 
selves according to the Laws of their existence to provide for 
iheir own necessities and to promote the general welfare. 
We are under various necessities, some more and others 
less pressing and imperious ; some affecting especially 
the body and others the mind ; some touching us as 
endowed with the senses, and others as instinct with 
spirit. For all these we are expected to make provi- 
sion. Accordingly, we are placed in a field of activity, 
adapted to our powers, where we are required to exert 
o,urs.elves for this very purpose. Here certain laws 
assert their authority, which in our exertions we are 
expected to obey. The results of our obedience — what 



108 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



we thus acquire, the Apostle with all propriety de- 
scribes as u our own." Our own it must be — the gift 
of the sovereign Owner and Disposer of all things. 
As such we may enjoy it — may use it in seeking the 
proper ends of our existence. At the head of this class 
stands the Agriculturist. He is immediately connected 
with the soil whence our supplies are ultimately to be 
derived. Obeying the laws of his sphere of activity, 
he exerts himself, cheerfully, vigorously, patiently, to 
draw up from the earth the gifts which the Creator has 
hidden there for the use of mankind. He, if true to 
his position, is a genuine worker. His hard hands, his 
sun-burnt face, his sweatful brow — of what honor are 
not these worthy ! Such as see nothing attractive and 
dignified in such things, must be blind enough. He is 
a true worker, before whose brave heart and tough 
sinews and stout limbs, discouragements, difficulties, 
obstacles vanish ; before which barrenness flees away, 
mountains sink and valleys rise ; and fruits and flowers 
abound. — Little, if at all, less is the well-skilled, faithful 
Mechanic to be praised. The carpenter, the smith, the 
bricklayer — how could we live without such workers ? 
Their characteristic exertions have an obvious and vital 
bearing on our welfare. Side by side in our hearts' 
estimation, let them stand with the agriculturist. — And 
what shall we say of those who are especially devoted 
to the work of Education ? That is a genuine and a 
noble work. If true to their tasks, they lay hold on 
the constructive principles of Human Nature, and 
adapting themselves to these, exert themselves for the 
development of the hidden powers, divinely lodged in 
the depths of our being. They are the ministers of the 
Creator, whose activity contributes to the high results 



SEKMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



109 



on which He was intent — contributes to bring out into 
full form and healthful exercise the Nature He has 
given us. Under their influence, Men, alive to their 
responsibilities and possessed of their powers, are fash- 
ioned, ready for any good work to which they may be 
called. Let not the respect and gratitude, to which they 
are so fairly entitled, be withheld.— The Interpreter of the 
Divine Will — the expositor of the Bible — the religious 
teacher, who identifying himself with the Model Man in 
the work of redemption, exerts himself to raise his fel- 
lows into the kingdom of heaven — what a worker is 
he ! How strong and vital every way is the bearing 
of his labors on human welfare ! The principles of the 
Divine Government, especially as modified by the Mis- 
sion of the Saviour, he unfolds and applies. These, 
unspeakably dear to his heart, he makes it his great 
aim to embody in his own character, and to impress 
for the highest purposes on the minds of others. To 
induce his fellows to unite with him in maintaining 
always and every where the divine authority — to this 
he gives arm and soul. None of the relations, duties, 
rights, which belong to the human family, does he 
allow himself to overlook. They are all sacred in his 
eyes — all dear to his heart — all are recognized and 
honored in his exertions. He does what he can to 
raise the children of Adam to the power, dignity and 
blessedness of Men". — And what a work is the true 
Euler occupied with ! It is his to enforce the demands 
of justice ; to defend rights and redress wrongs ; to see 
to it, 4 'that every man sit under his own vine or fig- 
tree, with none to molest or make him afraid." "He 
is the minister of God," wielding a sword which was 
forged, fashioned and edged in heaven; "a terror to 



110 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



evil-doers, and a reward to such as do well." God 
speed him in his labors, and give him a recompense 
suited to his responsibilities ! — Nor may we overlook 
the true Artist. God bless him ! He is far from occu- 
pied with busy idleness, whether he be painter, sculptor 
or poet. He labors wisely and earnestly, under a 
heavenly inspiration, to provide for necessities, which 
cannot be neglected without involving us in deep and 
lasting injury. And oh ! what a worker is he, who is 
equally diligent with mind and muscle, is equally him- 
self as manual laborer, religious teacher, poet, philo- 
sopher ! In him humanity is beautifully developed — 
to him humanity is deeply indebted. 

The instances given are examples of true workers. 
They might be multiplied. But it is unnecessary in 
this connection. The illustrations already furnished 
are, I hope, sufficient to set forth and commend the 
statement with which I set out. 

2. But another part of the subject, equally instruct- 
ive, but less agreeable, demands our attention. Un- 
workers there are, alas ! as well as Workers. These 
are to be described, so that whenever in their presence 
we may recognize them, and, as far as in us lies, render 
them their due. They are known in their relations to 
mankind under different names, but all hold essentially 
the same aims, and employ essentially the same me- 
thods. They are sometimes called Idlers ; sometimes 
Triflers, and sometimes Criminals. They are remark- 
able for taking advantage of the unnatural arrange- 
ments which every where prevail, to obtain what they 
call "a living" without manly effort. It is their way 
to "eat" what is not their "own" — what they have 
never earned. — To this class, all admit, Thieves are to 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Ill 



be assigned. They act more m character — with less 
disguise, perhaps, than any of their fellows. For what 
they take, they do not pretend to render an equivalent. 
With eager hand they seize what comes in their way, and 
bear it off as adroitly as they can. They are generally 
regarded as a nuisance, which the hand of penal justice 
ought as soon as possible to remove. — How much "better 
are they who make and they who sell Alcoholic poi- 
son ? May they not be — are they not generally much 
worse ? "What sort of an equivalent do they return 
for what they receive at the hands of their fellow-citi- 
zens ? Equivalent ! They receive gold and silver, 
bread and honey, and in return inflict all manner of 
diseases, bodily, mental and moral. They diffuse to 
the extent of their power an infectious, suffocating at- 
mosphere throughout the whole field of their activity. 
The bread they eat, very certainly is not "their own." 
It is cunningly, stealthily, cruelly withdrawn from the 
necessities, often stern enough, of its rightful owners 
— And what shall we say of those who in the sphere of 
Education and the Professions, while they receive 
bread to eat and clothes to wear — multiplied conve- 
niences and luxuries — refuse to embody in their cha- 
racter and exertions the principles on which they pro- 
fess to act ? It is their proper business, laying hold of 
the idea on which human nature was constructed, to 
apply it at whatever hazard or expense to the highest 
practical purposes ; to exert themselves to increase on 
every hand men, true, wise and strong. For this, they 
receive high honors and large rewards. And yet, this 
is the very thing they refuse to do. And this for fear 
of losing the rewards and honors, which are the natural 
return for the work they professedly undertake and 



112 



SERMONS A^D DISCOURSES. 



wholly neglect. Whenever they are required by their 
position and relations to resist popular tendencies and 
expose popular follies ; to throw themselves bravely 
between the cunning and the simple — the oppressor 
and his victim ; between armed violence and unresist- 
ing innocence, they are otherwise occupied. The de- 
fence, the improvement, the elevation of Human Na- 
ture — such things are beneath the sacrcdness and dig- 
nity of their vocation. It is, they affirm, expected of 
them to make scholars, not men ; to defend their clients, 
not the claims of equity ; to prescribe medicine, not to 
ward off or cure diseases ; to build up churches, not to 
purify and elevate our common Nature. And what 
will become of them, if they refuse to fulfill such ex- 
pectations ? These men, wherever they are found, and 
in whatever estimation they are held, are among the 
worst idlers, jugglers, mountebanks, which prey on 
the general welfare. " Eat their own bread." They ! 
Never a mouthful. — What numbers in our country rely 
for their support, grow rich, "fare sumptuously" on 
the Credit-System ! And what return do they make ? 
Take those who devote their time and strength to our 
banking establishments. How numerous they are ! 
How expensive and imposing is their style of living ! 
Can any sober man doubt that business would proceed 
on a firmer basis, with higher encouragements and 
better results, without than with them ; that their 
presence and activity are a disturbing force in the com- 
mercial sphere ? What a hot-bed have we in the cre- 
dit-system, where villainy of all sorts and sizes flour- 
ishes ! Here character is wrecked, and injuries in- 
flicted, and confidence abused, and woes multiplied. 
And all for what? Can any body tell? — And all 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



113 



those who under any pretext produce sAa?ft-work — 
who make things for sale and not for use — these belong- 
to the unworkers. Who is the better for their activity ? 
Rather, who is not the worse ? They take your money, 
and in return give you not cloth, but what is sometimes 
called " devil's-dust they take your money, and in 
return give you not bread, but what "satisfieth not;" 
they take your money, and return you not enduring 
substance, but an empty shadow. They are entitled 
to the same name as our Saviour gave the brokers in 
the Temple, and ought not to complain, if like them 
they are whipped out of the presence of the True and 
Faithful. — To retire from business without providing 
for the useful employment of our powers, is to throw 
ourselves among the unworkers ; nor is it any better 
to receive an inheritance without making it the basis 
of manly activity. In fact, nothing becomes "our 
own," which we do not moisten with our life-blood — 
which we do not bring home to ourselves in the way 
of earnest effort. Whatever otherwise we lay our hands 
upon is not, cannot be, " our own." We cannot take 
possession of it without violating the very Laws of oui 
Existence. 

From the general principle, which the Apostle here 
asserts and commends, a few practical lessons may 
easily be derived. 

1. The Gospel is here as every where else true to Nature. 
Nothing is more natural than the connection of Work 
with Wages. Work is the proper origin of wages ; 
wages the proper result of work. This Nature every 
where proclaims, distinctly and emphatically. These 
two terms are mutually correlative. Wages without 
work and work without wages — what an anomaly I 



114 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



A manifest and flagrant violation of whatever can de- 
serve tlie name of Law or Order ! — Let four men escape 
without a rag of clothing or a piece of bread, from a 
tempest- wrecked ship to a desolate island. They find 
themselves in what may in some sense be described as 
a state of Nature. To what Law must they now sub- 
mit in providing for their necessities ? No matter how 
artificial their training may have been — how strong an 
aversion to manly toil they may all along have cher- 
ished. Manual labor they may have regarded with 
proud contempt. No matter. Here they are with 
various necessities pressing heavily upon them. Food, 
clothing, a shelter — these every drop of blood in their 
veins demands. And the demand must be yielded to. 
They must bestir themselves or die. The connection 
between work and wages they are constrained to re- 
cognize and honor. — It is so every where in the view 
of the careful observer — in the mind of the sober 
thinker. From unworkers every where, Nature at 
length withholds either food or appetite. Either their 
table is empty or their food is poison. They are the 
prey of hunger or the victims of satiety. — "VThere amidst 
the artificial arrangements, which so widely prevail, 
wages are withheld from the worker, what do we find 
but confusion, embarrassment, crime and .misery? 
Here is frightful disorder, deep distress, freezing des- 
pair. Here is blasphemy, rebellion, outrage. Every 
thing dear, sweet, holy in Nature is trodden under foot. 
Fix your eye on any community where, as the Irish 
bishop said of his countrymen, a the people are starving 
as usual," and you will find many and heart-breaking 
illustrations of this strong statement. 

A decisive proof it is, that the Gospel is divine, that 



SERMONS AND DISCOUESES. 



115 



it is always and every where true to Nature. It is 
never at variance with the Laws of our Existence, in- 
scribed as they are with the ringer of the Creator on 
our inmost hearts — never, with the arrangements which 
his hand has introduced into the field where our pre- 
sent responsibilities lie. Far, far otherwise. The Gos- 
pel honors these arrangements. Every dictate and 
demand and design — every law of nature, it author- 
itatively confirms. It applies its strength and expends 
its resources in elevating all who come under its influ- 
ence to themselves — to the model on which Human 
Nature was fashioned — to obedience to the Laws which 
are written upon the foundation of our being. Surely 
the Gospel must have come from the same source as 
the human heart, which it purifies — as the nature it 
exalts. 

Of all this, we have a particular and striking illustra- 
tion in the principle with which this discourse is occu- 
pied. There are few things in the whole course of 
Nature more significant and characteristic than the con 
nection of work with wages. And on this very thing, 
the Gospel insists authoritatively and emphatically. It 
abhors ail " busybodies." It requires every man to 
"bear his own burden," and assist others in bearing 
theirs. Every man, working with his own hands, 
must "eat his own bread." This is the Gospel — these 
its requisitions. Whatever is thus at one with Nature 
cannot but be worthy of our respect and confidence. 
As such the Gospel should be every where welcomed, 
most cordially, gratefully, reverently. 

2. The Gospel claims jurisdiction in the sphere of Poli- 
tical Economy. The. just distribution of wages among 
the workers — £his matter, it is sometimes alleged, the 



116 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



friends of Freedom ought not, in their' efforts in behalf 
of the Enslaved, at all to occupy themselves with, even 
in the field of politics. It is merely a dollar-and-cent 
concern. It is too mean and trivial, too coarse and 
vulgar to attract the attention of great souls, of warm- 
hearted philanthropists. They must invest their enter- 
prise with a religious light. Thus and thus only can they 
hope for the smiles of the Saviour. Thus and thus only 
can they retain their hold on the hum an conscience. Such 
things are sometimes uttered with an air of deep con- 
cern and great solemnity. On multiplied minds, the 
intended impression is fastened. They are confounded, 
bewildered, embarrassed with a distinction which exists 
only in narrow minds and sectarian creeds. For what 
is the topic, with which political economy is especially 
occupied? the comprehensive, far-reaching theme, to 
which it is devoted? Is it not work and wages — 
their mutual relations to each other — the best methods 
for distributing the one and encouraging the other? 
What else, I pray you, gives significance to Free Trade 
doctrines or Tariff arrangements ? The importance of 
every thing in political economy must be estimated 
through its relation to work and wages. This is the 
soul of the whole business. And this, does it lie be- 
yond the jurisdiction of the Gospel? Does Christian- 
ity regard it with sovereign indifference ? So that you 
may separate work from wages, as you please, with- 
out violating its requisitions and incurring its displeas- 
ure? May you throw your own burdens, wantonly, 
on the shoulders of another? be a " busybody?" eat 
not "your own bread,'' but that which other hands 
have earned? May you give your countenance to 
arrangements, which force one to work without eating, 
and enable another to eat without working? which go 



SERMOjSTS and discourses. 



117 



to make the rich still richer, and the poor still poorer ? 
May you do such things with the consent of the Gospel, 
and be, notwithstanding, a true disciple of the Car- 
penter of Nazareth ? Surely not. The Gospel spreads 
its authority over the whole field of political economy. 
Those who refuse to honor the natural connection of 
work with wages, it denounces as " disorderly." It 
upbraids them as grievous offenders. It condemns 
them in pointed terms, and threatens them with a heavy 
punishment. If it is worthy of the Gospel thus to ex- 
tend its authority over the sphere of political econonr\ r , 
how can we lose our hold on the human conscience by 
maintaining and inculcating sound doctrines, on what- 
ever occasion and in whatever connection, in this de- 
partment of thought and responsibility? We never 
can be worthy of the smiles of our Saviour or the con- 
fidence of our fellows, while we refuse here, as every 
where else, to occupy the ground which the Gospel de- 
fines and cultivates. The Gospel comprehends in its 
doctrines and demands and arrangements all human 
interests ; and he is unworthy of the name of Christian, 
who would reduce the limits within which its influence 
is to be exerted. 

3. The Gospel maintains the principle on which penal 
inflictions proceed. How, consistently with its charac- 
teristic design, can it do otherwise ? It is an expedient, 
worthy of the infinite Wisdom and Goodness, to bring 
mankind into conformity with the general government 
of God. With this sublime object it is wholly en- 
grossed. To this it is true at every point and in all 
respects ; in all its principles, precepts, overtures, ar- 
rangements and tendencies. Accordingly, the grand 
cardinal virtues it commends, are Justice, Mercy and 



118 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Fidelity. On these it most earnestly insists; all the 
benefits it offers, are wrapped up in these, and cannot, 
without them, be enjoyed. Now we know that the 
divine government is maintained at the expense of 
penal inflictions — that Justice is asserted, and Mercy 
exercised, and Fidelity maintained amidst many and 
heavy penalties. How can the Gospel, then, secure 
the object it is intent upon, without giving its counte- 
nance to the principle on which penal inflictions pro- 
ceed ? 

I know that quite other views of this matter have 
multiplied and loud advocates. With them the Old 
Dispensation is a rough relic of the Dark Ages ; Moses 
was little better than a savage and the Law grim 
enough. From the stern demands and pointed threat- 
enings and terrible exposures amidst which the Mosaic 
economy, arbitrarily enough, placed us, we are well 
delivered by the Gospel. How should penal inflictions 
fall from the hand of Love ? The maintainance of 
justice is now a secondary affair. Under the New 
Dispensation, the grand object of the Divine Govern- 
ment must be to gratify and please us — to make us 
happy. Our follies and crimes, however numerous 
and gross, are now good-naturedly winked at; and 
every thing is every where brought into requisition, 
not to secure for us a sound and elevated character, but 
the largest amount of what we may please to reckon 
enjoyment. Such a Gospel must be in harsh collision 
with every thing we know of the Government of God, 
and can be of no service to those who are hastening to 
his tribunal. It has not a single feature in common 
with the Good Tidings, which, according to the Evan- 
gelists, J esus Christ proclaimed. He was every where 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



119 



and most earnestly for the Law. That he regarded 
with the deepest veneration, and supported with the 
whole weight of his authority. It was dear to him as 
his heart's blood ; and he regarded every jot or tittle of 
it as worthy to be maintained at the heaviest expense. 
In his expositions of the law, both the precept and the 
penalty, he fully supported Moses. "Witness the pointed 
censures with which He smote the ecclesiastics around 
him for trampling under foot the fifth commandment. 

The same spirit pervades the Apostolic lesson, with 
which this discourse is occupied. The u busybodies," 
who introduced disorder into the Thessalonian Church 
by refusing to apply themselves to productive industry 
— who would not earn the bread they consumed, he 
preached no good-natured Gospel to. Not he. He 
condemned them as criminal. They had exposed them- 
selves to a heavy penalty. They deserved starvation. 
If they would not work, they ought, he declared, to be 
deprived of food. Such every way is the Gospel. It 
never thrusts itself between the criminal and the pe- 
nalty he has incurred — between the murderer and the 
gallows. Such weakness and cruelty it regards with 
stern abhorrence. Let fools beware. If they choose 
to trample on their obligations — to invade rights or 
inflict wrongs, they must seek some other refuge from 
the fears which haunt them, and the punishment which 
awaits them, than can be found in the Gospel. If they 
will not submit to the Divine Authority, the damnation 
they deserve the Gospel will never screen them from. 
The Gospel, as impressively as the Law, demands obe- 
dience or threatens death. 

4. The thoughts suggested -in this discourse may assist 
us in forming a just estimate of ourselves and others. On 



120 



SEEMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



this subject, what sad mistakes are almost every where 
daily committed ! The estimation in which one and 
another are held, depends with multitudes rather on 
how much and what they eat, than on how much and 
what they do. If one moves along in pomp and splen- 
dor — if he is " clothed in purple and fine linen, and 
fares sumptuously every day" — if, of the gifts which 
heaven has provided for the human family, he is an 
unsparing consumer, he becomes on this account an 
object of general admiration. How he came by what 
he thus lavishly expends is a question on which only 
the fewest think of insisting. He may be sure of the 
support and the applause of the multitude. What a 
pity ! Can any thing be more absurd or mischievous ? 
Just think. A majority of the human family are al- 
most every where subject to embarrassment and op- 
pression. Their rights are ruthlessly invaded. The 
provision which heaven has made for their improve- 
ment and welfare is, by a strange perversion, employed 
to crush and degrade them. Their very existence is 
often robbed of every thing attractive and significant. 
And yet they constitute a majority ! Their oppressors 
are few and weak and foolish. Why then do not they 
break away from the grasp in which they are held, and 
assert their own dignity and vindicate their own rights ? 
Why do millions in this republic submit to the out- 
rages, which a handful of miserably imbecile wretches 
see fit to inflict upon them? Why? Because the 
multitude, in estimating themselves and others, apply a 
false standard. With them, the dignity of man con- 
sists rather in the capacity of eating than in the power 
of working ! Into the divinity of work, they have 
never seen. Far enough from that. They despise 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



121 



work, as mere drudgery, and themselves and their fel- 
lows who are forced to occupy themselves with it, as 
mere drudges ! Show them one, who, while he does 
nothing, eats much, and their admiration is at once 
kindled. He is their man ! To him they ascribe a 
dignity and worth proportioned to the amount of other 
people's earnings he consumes ! They unhesitatingly 
give him their confidence, their support, their suffrages ; 
and with loud and eager tongue, fools as they are, de- 
scribe him as worthy of general veneration ! The high- 
est places in " Church and State," they think, are 
scarcely high enough for the merits which they ascribe 
to him. And yet, if the truth were told, it would be 
seen, that his merits lie especially in the costly tribute, 
which he levies on all around him for the benefit of his 
enormous belly. All this may well be affirmed of a 
great majority of those, who wield the elective fran- 
chise in this republic. Look at their petted candidates 
for the highest offices. Who are their Clays and Polks? 
and who are those who gather around these oft-repeated 
names ? Who are they ? Genuine workers, who "eat 
their own bread" ? Not at all. They are not ashamed 
to eat up the earnings of the poorest of the poor, with- 
out compensation or reward. They pilfer from their 
cooks ; they rob their wash- women. Nay, they are 
not a whit better than mere cannibals ! They virtually 
devour the human hearts on which they can lay their 
rapacious hands. While the multitude in this and 
other countries continues to give its countenance and 
support to such Do-nothing-eat-alls, what else can it 
expect or deserve than embarrassment and oppression 
and misery ? 

The Apostle in the text requires us, in estimating 



122 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



ourselves and others, to apply a very different stand- 
ard. The creatures among us, which are raised, one, 
would think, in cruel mockery, to the highest places, 
he regards as unworthy of a crust of bread. Their 
proper doom, according to his just judgment, is starv- 
ation. The doings of men — these he maintains are 
the natural basis of their claim on our regard. Our 
doings constitute the standard by which we are to be 
judged, here and hereafter. Let us apply this stand- 
ard, promptly and earnestly. Let us open our eyes on 
the dignity of work. Let us regard it as our highest 
privilege. And let us give our confidence and support 
in every sphere of responsibility to workers alone. 
The wretch, who can wantonly and remorselessly riot 
on the earnings of others, let us hold in just abhor- 
rence. Honor him with our suffrages! Perish the 
thought. Kaise him to a high position! Shame on 
us, if we can endure a thing so absurd and mischiev- 
ous ! May the day soon dawn upon us, when here as 
well as elsewhere, ''every man shall receive according 
to his works" ! 

5. The Gospel demands a radical and universal revolu- 
tion in human society. That they are in favor of some 
such thing, is urged as a grave accusation against some 
philanthropists among us. The accusers allege, that 
the Gospel takes society as it finds it, whatever may be 
its character, and adapts itself to its usages and arrange- 
ments. These may be in the highest degree absurd 
and mischievous. The rich may devour the poor ; the 
strong may trample on the weak. Eights may be 
invaded ; injuries inflicted ; hearts may be bruised. 
What claims the name and the prerogatives of govern- 
ment may be no better than a cunning and cruel con- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



123 



spiracy. The damnable absurdity may be openly 
maintained, and on what is generally honored as high 
authority, that what the law pronounces property is to 
be treated as property ! On this ground human beings 
may be reduced to a level with brute beasts, as an 
arrangement which lies at the very foundation of so- 
ciety. No matter. The Gospel, we are told, has not a 
word to say against any such abomination, provided it 
may have entered into the organization of society. It 
is too busy in saving the souls of men to have an eye to 
see, or a heart to loathe, or a hand to abolish the 
wrongs which society may inflict upon them ! They 
may be crippled and crushed— robbed and polluted — 
may be exposed to manifold temptations and driven to 
desperation ; the Gospel has no word to utter on their 
behalf if in these things they are the victims of society ! 
And smooth-faced, well-fed ecclesiastics who sanctimo- 
niously refuse to lift a finger to lighten their burdens, 
pompously threaten these poor creatures with damna- 
tion, if they do "not believe" in such a Gospel! A 
Gospel, which they have every reason to execrate as a 
piece of priestly mummery — an absurd, cruel thing — 
the deepest source of wrong and woe, upon which the 
pride and selfishness of wicked men have ever forced 
them ! And is this the Gospel which Jesus Christ pro- 
claimed ? Never. The thought is full of blasphemy. 
He demands, with a kingly voice demands, a radical 
revolution in human society, as it is generally main- 
tained. Its designs and arrangement and spirit — all 
are in the harshest collision with the objects and me- 
thods which He enjoins. Justice, Mercy, Fidelity; 
these with Him are the great end of our existence, as 
truly in society as elsewhere. Whatever is inconsist- 



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SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ent with these, the Gospel peremptorily and strongly 
condemns. In every Society which, directly or in- 
directly, sets Justice, Mercy and Fidelity at naught, 
the Gospel demands a radical revolution. And a radi- 
cal revolution it will certainly effect. 

Take the principle on which, in the text, the Apostle 
insists. What, I ask, would be the result, if this prin- 
ciple were generally enforced? if men were every 
where required to " eat their own bread" or forbear to 
eat at all ? if wages were confined to work, and work 
only could procure wages ? "What would be the re- 
sult ? What if the estimation in which men were held, 
and the position to which they were admitted, depend- 
ed on the work they performed? Would not a 
radical and universal revolution in society be effected ? 
Who can doubt it? In multiplied instances, those 
now at the top of society would rapidly descend to the 
bottom ; and those at the bottom, would in as many 
instances ascend to the summit. Workers would every 
where be honored and rewarded ; idlers every where 
be abhorred and punished. 

What in such a case would become of American 
Slavery? How long could this accursed thing last 
where this principle asserted its authority ? It would 
disappear like an ugly dream, when one awakes. Let 
your McDuffies, and Calhouns, and Clays, and Polks ; 
let their supporters and applauders, generally, be 
brought under the control of this principle ; let them 
derive the supplies their necessities demand, from the 
work they perform, and slavery ceases at once and for- 
ever within the entire sphere of their influence. Give 
the slave the wages he has earned, and how soon would 
not the chains fall from his limbs ! How soon would 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES 



125 



he not rise to the dignity of a freeman ! And yet great 

numbers say . But I forbear. What signifies 

quoting the words of dishonest talkers? We know 
what the Gospel demands; and may God give us 
strength to honor its all-healthful requisitions ! 



Though Selfishness is essentially and characteristical 
ly divisive, under every aspect and tendency, yet under 
its influence its victims may offer themselves as auxil- 
iaries to each other in resisting and proscribing the 
Magnanimous and Philanthropic. They regard each 
other merely as tools, to be wielded as adroitly as pos- 
sible in perpetrating what they may be intent upon. 
Hence the multiplied and formidable conspiracies, to 
which we are every where exposed. The Discourse, to 
which I now invite the reader's attention, is occupied 
iu exposing perhaps the most imposing and injurious 
among them. 



THE GREAT CONSPIRACY. 



"A wonderful and a horrible thing is committed in the land ; the pro- 
phets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means ; 
and my people love to have it so : and what will ye do in the end 
thereof Jer. 5 : 30, 31. 

The prophet here pointedly adverts to the two lead- 
ing classes in the community, for whose benefit he 
wielded his official powers. Under the Theocracy, 
priests very naturally held a prominent position and 
exerted a controlling influence. How it was among 
the Hebrews in this respect, any one can see at once 
by glancing at their history. The prophets were the 
interpreters of the Heavenly Wisdom, who were re- 
sponsible for maintaining such principles, and inculcat- 
ing such doctrines, and affording such encouragements, 
and urging such warnings, both word-wise and deed- 
wise, as the general improvement and welfare demanded. 
They may well enough be regarded as representing 
what among us bear the name of ecclesiastical arrange- 
ments and influences, as the priests wielded what we 
new describe as civil authority. 

These two classes with us as elsewhere mutually 
play into each other's hands — mutually subserve the 
designs, with which they are, respectively, occupied. 
With us as elsewhere, the character of the one is im- 
plied in, and may be inferred from, the character of the 
other. Corrupt ecclesiastics are the very dung-hill out 
of which grow profligate rulers. And usurpers in the 
state always support jugglers in the church. They are 
as sure to accompany each other — to be found in each 



128 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



other's presence as were the Siamese twins. The lies 
of the one enable the other to play the tyrant. 

How ecclesiastics among ourselves by their lies play 
into the hands of those, who aspire to be rulers, I pro- 
pose to illustrate in a few particulars. 1. They affirm 
in one breath, that religion has nothing to do with poli- 
tics, and in the next, that it lends its sanctions to whatever 
political arrangements may happen to exist! In this 
republic name after name of candidates for high civil 
offices may be repeated, who were addicted in one way 
and another to shameful vices — whose habits were in 
open conflict with the organic laws of human nature, 
and, of course, with the principles of civil government. 
They were drunkards, or debauchees, or gamblers, or 
slaveholders ; or they united in themselves a number, 
if not all, of these repulsive characters. Tried by the 
rules, which are generally applied to humble life, they 
must be pronounced profligates — eminent in folly and 
wickedness. Their vices, moreover, were as notorious 
as they were rank and shameless. Nobody pretended 
to deny what was generally asserted, that their character 
was radically defective — that their example was foully 
and fatally contagious. In the circles immediately 
around them where their influence was most deeply 
felt, they were known to be seducers and destroyers, 
whose breath was poisonous — whose touch was con- 
tamination. By the accident of wealth, or talents, or 
connections, they drew upon themselves the attention, 
and at length the admiration, of the thoughtless multi- 
tude. By cunning and knavery, they acquired the 
reputation of great skill and address and efficiency in 
politics. Hence, at one time and another, they have 
been commended by this party or that to the confi- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



129 



dence of the nation, as candidates for the highest offices. 
The whole influence of large and powerful combin- 
ations, extending their ramifications all over the repub- 
lic has been brought into requisition to raise them to 
such dignities and emoluments and prerogatives as are 
implied in the titles of judges and senators and govern- 
ors and presidents. — What position in these circum- 
stances has been taken by our numerous ecclesiastics, 
especially by those who are most prominent among the 
clergy ? By those, for instance, who preside over our 
colleges — or occupy the chairs of bishops ; by those, 
in one word, who are fullest fed and most sumptuously 
clothed — who show themselves from the highest pulpits 
in the republic ? Did they summon their multiplied 
hearers, scattered as they are far and wide, around 
them, and urge upon them, earnestly and solemnly, 
the obligations, which the Infinite Wisdom imposes, 
and which are so distinctly and prominently recorded 
in the Bible ? Did they, as they had opportunity, im- 
press on every voter its great maxims, teaching author- 
itatively, that when the u righteous are in authority 
the people rejoice, but when the wicked bear rule they 
mourn"? That "God is the only Potentate" — the 
source of all authority; that rulers, therefore, are "his 
ministers" — bound by every thing significant and 
weighty in their offices to be a " terror to evil-doers and 
a praise to them who do well " ? That it is consequent- 
ly absurd and wicked, to cast a ballot for any name, 
which fears not God and works not righteousness — for 
any candidate, who is not wise and just and magnani- 
mous — in whose character, the principles of the divine 
government are not wrought by habitual obedience to 
its requisitions ? And did they illustrate and enforce 



130 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



these most weighty and healthful conclusions by em- 
bodying them in veritable deeds — by leading their 
people to the ballot-box and showing them how to 
worship God in the choice of true rulers? No, verily 
no. Such things, they never thought of beginning to 
attempt. Had they taken any such position — had they 
pursued any such course, we had never been disgraced 
and plagued with the curse of a wicked ruler. Never. 
The victims of avarice and ambition and sensuality — 
the blood-stained fighter and the cruel oppressor had 
never been lifted on high and armed with power, to 
scatter, as age after age they have been scattering, 
11 fire-brands and arrows and death" all around them. 
And of this our ecclesiastics and religionists never had 
a doubt. But corrupt themselves, they have all along 
been intent on paving the way for the elevation of 
profligate rulers. They have, therefore, with a pro- 
faneness which might well shock the stoutest blas- 
phemer, taught the people to regard their political 
relations and responsibilities as an unclean thing — a 
vulgar affair, lying quite out of the province of reli- 
gion! They might, therefore, vote for whom they 
pleased — bow, as might seem convenient to the dicta- 
tion of the parties, to which they were addicted — might 
raise vicious and cruel demagogues to the highest 
places of authority : all this they might do without in- 
curring guilt, without offending the Saviour, without 
inflicting injuries, without exposing themselves to the 
least just reproach! Nay, these ecclesiastics have 
joined with the people in thus prostituting the elective 
franchise — in perverting it into a deadly scourge, worse 
than the cholera, and, like the whore alluded to in the 
Bible, have wiped their mouths and exclaimed, What 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



131 



have we done? From the ballot-box, where they had 
thus worshipped the Usurper, they have applied them- 
selves to the holiest offices of religion without a blush 
for their monstrous inconsistency and shameless wick- 
edness. Thus have they opened the way for the 
usurpation and tyranny of profligate politicians — of 
impudent demagogues, under the name of rulers ! 

No sooner have they thus contributed to raise some 
such creature to the heights of political responsibility, 
than they turn dexterously round and throw about him 
all the sanctions of religion I All at once he becomes 
the minister of God, whom we may not decry or resist 
without incurring the divine displeasure ! He may 
trample on the prerogatives of Jehovah and the rights 
of mankind — may enact folly and mischief and misery 
— may be a very snake, voracious and insatiable, 
among those who are subject to his caprices, still his 
ecclesiastical coadjutors extol his prerogatives and bid 
us to bow to his behests ! We may not in God's name 
expose and denounce and resist him ! Eeligion, we are 
solemnly assured, requires us reverently to recognize 
in him one of the powers that be ; though there is not 
one drop of a ruler's blood in his veins ; though he is 
utterly powerless for every thing but folly and mischief 
— a terror to well-doers and a praise to them that in- 
vade rights and inflict injuries ! Thus political usurp- 
ation and tyranny are promoted by clerical falsehood 
and treachery. 

2. To present the same general thought under a 
somewhat different aspect, I may be permitted to sug- 
gest, that our ecclesiastics teach that rulers may expect 
the divine protection without maintaining the divine author- 
ity. They, these rulers, are represented in our pulpits 



1S2 SEKM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 

as the ministers of God, acting in his name, and entitled 
to his guidance and protection. All attempts to expose, 
decry, resist them are held up to general abhorrence 
under the most odious names. We are warned to be- 
ware of incurring the guilt — of exposing ourselves to 
the punishment of rebellion, insurrection, revolt. God, 
we are told, has armed the ruler with a sword, fashion- 
ed and tempered in heaven ; and it must be extreme 
rashness and sheer wickedness to rush upon its point. 
We are threatened with the halter here and with hell 
hereafter, if we dare to oppose any of those who are 
clothed with official' power. All this must be as fami- 
liar as household words to those, who are at all con- 
versant with the political history of mankind, any 
where or any when. 

If we venture, however modestly, to inquire on what 
grounds rulers are thus entitled to the divine protec- 
tion, we are cautioned to beware of meddling with 
matters so far beyond our depth. It ought to be 
enough for us, that they bear the titles, and occupy the 
places, of rulers — that they are found at the head of 
affairs. They belong of course to the " powers that 
be!" and as such are entitled to our reverence and 
obedience ! What ; if they are an encouragement to 
e^ril-doing ; and a terror to all, who would honor their 
responsibilities and do their duty! That, we are as- 
sured, makes no difference! They may despise the 
divine authority and trample on the divine preroga- 
tives, openly and flagrantly. They do not thus forfeit 
the divine protection ! No ; not at all. They may in 
God's own name assail God's own throne ! They are 
safe in so doing beneath his shield ! Thus do our ec- 
clesiastics separate rulers from the rest of mankind in 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 133 

their relations to the Only Potentate. All other men 
must submit to the divine authority in order to enjoy 
the divine protection. Bulers, we are taught, are raised 
far above any such necessity ! How cunningly all this 
is adapted to the designs of ambitious earthlings, and 
profligate demagogues and remorseless tyrants, I need 
spend no time in showing. 

3. Or to vary the illustration : Our pulpits demand 
for those, who are clothed with one office and another, the 
titles and HONORS of riders ivithout requiring of them 
the character and influence of rulers. A ruler, 
obviously, must be one WHO rules — who gives to his 
fellows the benefits of his superior wisdom and power 
— of his magnanimity and heroism. He must rise 
above them in the elements and attributes of a genuine 
Humanity. He must hold those aims, and employ 
those methods, and put forth those exertions, which are 
characteristic of manliness of a high type — of an ele- 
vated stamp. Otherwise he can by no means afford 
counsel, guidance, protection to his fellows — can by no 
means rule for their benefit. All this is most obvious 
and certain. And all this is to a wide extent over- 
looked by those who occupy our pulpits. They are 
forward in terms sufficiently unqualified and emphatic 
to demand for those, whom they find at the head of 
affairs the titles and the honors which are appropriate 
to rulers. We must treat them with marked respect. 
We must render them unquestioning obedience. We 
must yield them the confidence they demand. We 
must put ourselves and our children under their con- 
trol. Time and money we must lay out, to enable 
them to maintain a sort of regal state. All this is de- 
manded at our hands while no equivalent for our bene- 



134 



SERMONS AND DISCOUESES. 



fit is insisted on! Instead of wisdom, these lofty, 
bloated creatures, perched on the very summit of hu- 
man existence, insult us with their formal, pompous 
follies! Instead of guiding, they offer to seduce us. 
Instead of affording us protection, they themselves in 
flict upon us the heaviest injuries ! Instead of vindi- 
cating our rights, they themselves assail them ! They 
are often eminent in every thing selfish, pusillanimous, 
vulgar, profligate ! Go to ATashington, and study the 
character which they there exhibit ! Are not sensual- 
ity under every form — and cruelty of every type — and 
meanness of every guise and name — and imbecility and 
absurdity of every description there at home ? Eife, 
and rampant, and reckless enough to put any common 
fiend to the blush ? There do we not find the very 
nest of slavery, where vipers and cockatrices of every 
sort and size are hatched and nourished? And yet 
our ecclesiastics would have us honor, under the sacred 
name of rulers, those who are busy in doing mischief 
on a broad scale — who give their countenance and sup- 
port to all that is absurd and infamous and destructive 
in political designs and arrangements ! The Jacksons, 
and Clays, and Polks, and Van Burens, and Websters, 
and Calhouns, who have been pushed forward to such 
prominent positions in the national counsels by the in- 
fatuated and guilty multitude ; these and such as these 
are the names, which our religious teachers commend 
to our confidence and veneration ! The character and 
influence of rulers, we may not demand of them ; to 
the titles and honors, however, they are entitled ! No 
prophet under heaven ever uttered dogmas more fla- 
grantly and malignantly false — better adapted to the 
objects, with which profligate rulers are always occu- 
pied. 



BEBMOKS AND DISCOURSES. 



135 



4. Another illustration : Our prophets in one breath 
assure us, that rulers are the agents, the servants of &e 
people — the instruments of the popular will; and in the 
next, refer to the laws they have enacted, and the arrange- 
ments they have introduced, as an insuperable obstruction 
to our exertions to remove the evils, which oppress us, and 
to secure the benefits we are entitled to. The multitude 
open both mouth and ears, -when addressed with loud 
sounding words, magnifying their sovereignty. They 
love to be thus tickled and inflated. Their senseless 
pride is thus gratified. No matter how impotent they 
may be, when called to contend with their own pas- 
sions. Iso matter how blindly they may pin their 
faith upon the sleeves of the pretenders and impostors 
around them. They are mightily flattered when they 
hear themselves described as the source of all authority 
— the soul and substance of whatever deserves to be 
regarded as civil government. They are kings ; and 
those who are invested with office are their servants ! 
They are the potter ; and those who enact and expound 
and execute the laws, are the clay in their all-powerful 
hands ! Blessed is the nation which enjoys the guid- 
ance and protection of universal suffrage ! Such no- 
tions, set afloat by our ethical and theological nursing- 
fathers, greatly favor the designs of aspiring dema- 
gogues and ambitious profligates. When they are 
climbing into office, they cringe and bow before the 
people. They are so unpretending and humble — 
hardly worthy to stoop down and loosen the sandals of 
the popular foot ! They would be so happy to render 
some little service to the venerable public ! They are 
ready to run on its errands — to execute its commands ! 
They can do nothing of themselves, poor, helpless, on- 



136 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



aspiring creatures ! They ask no higher honor than to 
lie passive in the hands of the all- wise, almighty peo- 
ple ! Thus by fawning, and cringing, and bowing, they 
secure popular favor — plant themselves on the shoul- 
ders of the people, and ride, heartless knaves as they 
are, into offices, to which they are every way incompe- 
tent — which they do not even aim at honoring ! But 
this they could not even begin to do, if the pulpit were 
at all true to its responsibilities ; if it taught that only 
one competent to guide and protect could be a ruler ; 
and that instead of being the tool of the popular will, 
it is his to counsel and control, in one word, to rule. 

But when our prophets have once boosted such crea- 
tures into office, where they generally sit as dignified 
as an ape on a sign-post, they turn round and describe 
their official acts as unassailable, invincible, almost im- 
mutable ! Oh ! yes, they admit that this or that is a 
great evil, a gross absurdity, a crying sin. Eeform- 
atory efforts must, however, be fruitless ; for the thing 
is "guaranteed by the Constitution l" Slavery, for in- 
stance, is a mother-abomination — a system of injustice, 
folly, cruelty — the abhorrence of earth and heaven. 
But then it is the result of the social compact — the 
creature of legislation — it is created and protected by 
law ! All good citizens, therefore, will leave it unas- 
sailed. We are urged to submit to our rulers, as if 
they were the potter and we the clay in their hands ! 
Thus in the mouths of our prophets one lie stands op- 
posed to another ; and yet both the one and the other 
are made, each at the right time, to subserve the de- 
signs of profligate rulers ! 

And then there is such a thing as clerical ambition, 
with its baits and prizes. There are the " uppermost 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



137 



rooms at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues.' 7 
There are your lofty pulpits and fat salaries — your 
professorships and presidencies and chaplaincies. In 
the ecclesiastical as well as in the political sphere, there 
are high positions and showy titles and imposing en- 
vironments. And these prizes can hardly be had 
without the countenance and assistance of those who 
occupy the high places of political preferment. Your 
demagogues are to a great extent relied on, directly or 
indirectly, to countenance and support the prevalent 
religion, with its pretensions and designs, and arrange- 
ments. TThen churches are to be built, and proselytes 
multiplied, and religious establishments extended — 
when organizations, professedly for pious or philan- 
thropic purposes, are to be formed and strengthened, 
whether for operation in this or in foreign countries, 
nothing can be done without their patronage. And 
especially if a heretic is to be scented out and hunted 
down — most of all, if some member of the clerical pro- 
fession who has dared to assert his own personality — 
has had the hardihood to prefer the claims of justice 
and philanthropy to the demands of sectarianism — to 
expose the inflated professions, the loathsome hypocri- 
sy and poisonous influence, which so greatly abound, 
is to be overwhelmed with reproach, your political 
aspirants are expected to be forward and active in the 
business. In a thousand ways, they are continually 
playing into the hands of the ecclesiastics. 

While this game between the ecclesiastics and the 
demagogues is going on in the presence, and at the 
expense of the people, how according to the prophet 
are tlwy affected? His views on this as on other sub- 
jects, are widely at variance with the notions with 



125 



SERMONS A2sD DISCOUBSESL 



which your psuedophilanthropist3 are intoxicated. 
He had none of their confidence in the masses — in the 
thoughtless, headlong multitude. He was far from in- 
dulging in their idle dreams about the healing efficacy 
of universal suffrage. His philanthropy lay in some- 
thing else than in asserting on their behalf prerogatives 
and privileges, to which they were wholly incompetent, 
and therefore by no means entitled. He saw dearly, 
that they were the very soil in which the evils he com- 
plained fastened their roots — whence they derived 
nourishment Bad as was the slate of things in the 
spheres of religion and politics, the people loved to 
have it so. ? ' 

A genuine philanthropy never confounds the work 
of God in the constitution of human nature with any 
of the multiplied perversions of it which are to be 
charged on human folly and wickedness. To the 
rights, which are inherent in the former, the latter is 
by no means entitled. The grand comprehensive 
right the all-embracing duty, of the masses is to be in 
aim and activity what they are in structure — is to be 
conformed to the constructive principles, the organic 
laws of their existence — is to be true men, the image 
of the Creator. They have no specific rights — no par- 
ticular duties — none at aU. which are not comprehended 
in this primary obligation — this high prerogative. 
Just so far and in whatever respects they refuse to be 
what the Creator requires them to be, and to do what 
the Creator requires them to do. in the precepts which 
he has wrought into their very nature, do they make 
themselves aliens and outcasts. So for are they beside 
tfiemselves; no more worthy of confidence, where the 
general improvement and welfare are concerned, than 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



139 



maniacs and monsters. Their political activity, under the 
misguidance of false prophets, always results in usurp- 
ation and tyranny. They always prefer folly to wis- 
dom — meanness to magnanimity — creatures in a higher 
degree themselves than they know how to be — these they 
prefer to the Godlike. Around these they are sure 
obsequiously to gather for guidance and protection. 
This is the mother absurdity whence all their follies spring 
— the generic sin, whence all their vices proceed. "With 
devil-worship more arrant and flagrant, hell itself was 
never disgraced. 

How did the masses treat a Jeremiah amidst their 
profligate priests and lying prophets ? Quite charac- 
teristically — just like themselves. No Hebrew was 
subject to a popular odium so deep and malignant. 
Every body hated and reproached him. He was re- 
garded as a target, at which all, men, women and child- 
ren, might hurl their missiles in sport or spleen or 
fury. In the mean time, the poor, blind wretches clung 
to their seducers and destroyers — to their priests and 
prophets, as if something better than perdition could 
be expected from folly and knavery ! And this, till 
overwhelmed and swept away by their absurdity and 
wickedness ! How, generally, does the multitude re- 
ward the man, who at whatever hazard or expense 
exerts himself to promote their welfare ? He labors, 
word- wise and deed- wise, to deliver them from the evils 
to which they are exposed — to raise them to their pro- 
per worth and dignity. He mingles with them right 
fraternally in sustaining the trials and performing the 
tasks, to which all are heaven-summoned. Their wel- 
fare he prizes above wealth and reputation — the ties of 
friendship and the honors of preferment. I heard him 



140 



SERMONS A2sD DISCOURSES. 



say, not complainingly, but in the way of illustrating 
the respect and confidence to which the multitude are 
entitled ; I heard him say, In this community I have 
every way acted, as far as in me lay, the manly part ; 
welcoming in the midst of sun-burnt laborers the 
homeliest toils ; freely sharing with them whatever of 
self-denial, and contempt, and exposure is generally 
reckoned incident to their condition. In the profes- 
sion to which I properly belonged — in the circles in 
which I naturally moved, I have thus exposed myself 
to suspicion, to hatred, to reproach. As a fool, fanatic 
— even misanthrope, I have therefore been stigmatized. 
— And what in return have I received from those whose 
improvement and welfare I sought a x the expense of 
reputation, wealth, preferment ? Whose natural rights, 
prerogatives and privileges I asserted at the hazard or 
all that the members of my own profession prize most 
highly and pursue most eagerly ? And that, when 
what they most coveted was placed within my reach 
and virtually urged on my acceptance? What in 
return have I received from those, to whom I thus 
devoted arm and soul — talents and substance ? What ? 
why just what any reasonable observer and just thinker 
would mournfully yet certainly expect ; neglect, or de- 
rision, or reproach, or opposition ! Had they offered 
any thing, indicating self-respect, a manly regard for 
their own rights and welfare, a just estimation of the 
exertions of their friends on their behalf, they would 
have ceased to be themselves. Among the false, the cun- 
ing, the knavish, among demagogues and pretenders, 
and impostors, they generally seek and find their favor- 
ites! On these, their worst enemies, they bestow their 
smiles and lavish their favors. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



141 



But what ails the multitude, that they should thus 
plunge headlong into absurdity, crime and misery? 
Why do they not offer their allegiance to the wise, 
strong, magnanimous men, to whom they have access? 
Why do they not eagerly and gratefully avail them- 
selves of their presence and power and benevolence ? 
Why ? Because they cannot endure the restraints 
which would thus be imposed upon their passions. 
They cannot bear to be admonished and reproved and 
corrected. They are blindly intent on having their 
own way according to their own methods. They care 
for nothing better than self-gratification. They are 
sensual; and must, unexposed and unrebuked, have 
free access to the dram-shop and brothel. Or they are 
avaricious ; and must be permitted to make money out 
of the ignorance or indolence or imbecility of their fel- 
lows. Or they are ambitious ; and must as best they 
can grope their way to the high places of authority. 
They are animal in their aims, methods, pursuits, and 
must be allowed to go upon their bellies and feed upon 
the dust. In wielding the elective franchise they can 
not be expected to rise above themselves. Those, who 
are most like themselves — themselves in the highest 
degree, will be their chief favorites ; upon such they 
will lavish what they esteem their choicest favors. 
Hence the lying prophets and profligate rulers, into 
whose hands they commit themselves and their child- 
ren, for the present and for the future — for time and 
for eternity ! Can absurdity be pushed on to greater 
depths, or profligacy be carried to wilder excesses ? 

Before he retires from their presence, the man of 
God has a question for the lying prophets and profli- 
gate rulers and infatuated people, whom he was ad- 



142 



SEBXQSS AHD DISCOURSES. 



dressing, which it would be well for them to study and 
frame an answer to. * They were hastening on to the 
natural results of their folly and wickedness ; and how 
would they dispose of the embarrassments, in which 
thev would then find themselves involved? "And 
what will ye do in the end thereof?" The falsehood 
of prophets — the profligacy of rulers — the infatuation 
of their adherents are charged with appropriate tenden- 
cies. These belong to them inherently, intrinsically, 
essentially. They enter into their very nature and 
must be developed in their histoiy. Infatuation, pro- 
fligacy, falsehood cannot but exert their appropriate 
influence — cannot but produce their natural effects. 
They may for a while, as they often do, operate under 
strange disguises and deceptive names. But in due 
season, the poison will take effect. Xothing can neu- 
tralize the tendencies, or prevent the effects, which 
belong to absurdity and treachery. 

Let lying prophets and profligate rulers and the 
infatuated multitude beware! Confusion, embarrass- 
ment, remorse, shame, apprehension, despair; upon 
these things, they are madly rushing ! Their sins — 
the sting of death is there ! In each of them, the coals 
of an endless, deadly strife are burning. They are at 
open war with God and nature. They are in conflict 
with each other. Whether they are aware of it or not, 
their babels are tottering ; and in their fall will crush 
them utterly. A single glance, however hasty and 
rapid, at the general condition of Christendom is 
enough to impress such warnings on every open heart 
— on every ingenuous spirit. Look at England, 
France, Germany, Italy, the United States. Confu- 
sion, apprehension, distress; how they every where 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



143 



stare us in the face! Falsehood, treachery, tyranny 
in high places ; stupidity, servility, and desperation in 
low places: what other results could be expected? 
The end is at hand; let every man inquire, what pro- 
vision he has made for the exigencies, on which he 
must then be thrown. 



With so much to embarrass and obstruct, how can 
we hope to accomplish any thing worthy of the aims 
we are encouraged to hold, and the enterprises in which 
we are required to engage ? A grave problem, truly. 
With this, I attempted to grapple in the succeeding 
Discourse. 



THE STAFF OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. 



" I am the true Vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every 
branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away : and every 
branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more 
fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken 
unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear 
fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; no more can ye, except 
ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that 
abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : 
for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is 
cast forth as a branch, and is withered ; and men gather them, and 
cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, 
and my w r ords abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall 
be done unto you." — John 15 : 1-7. 

The Saviour here grapples with the great problem 
of human existence and clearly solves — beautifully dis" 
poses of it : How may we best succeed in laying out our 
strength — in expending our resources ; how may we be- 
come most extensively and effectively useful ? More im- 
portant questions can hardly be urged. A matter 
bearing so vitally and powerfully on human welfare, 
the Saviour could not overlook. It belonged to the 
work, which he had undertaken — to the office which 
he had assumed. Let us give heed to the great con- 
clusions, which he here offers to impress upon us. 

In the most comprehensive manner, we are here 
taught to distinguish the practicable from the imprac- 
ticable. How we may avoid the one and reach the 
other — on what condition we may escape defeat and 
achieve a triumph, we are here informed. The natural 
relation, which, as members of the Human Family, 
we sustain to the Messiah, we must recognize and 
honor — we as his subjects must identify ourselves with 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 145 



him, as our King — must, as dependent on his wisdom 
and power, avail ourselves of his presence and pre- 
rogatives, if we would accomplish any thing in our 
various spheres of activity. On this general condition, 
we may hold the highest aims, and pursue the noblest 
objects, and enter upon the most magnificent designs 
with the fairest prospects of success. Of all this r the 
Saviour assures us in language sufficiently plain and 
emphatic. The union of the Vine with the Branches, 
he employs to illustrate the relation which binds him 
and us together. The powder of producing fruit, the 
Branches owe to the Vine. If they neglect or pervert 
this power, they expose themselves to excision. If 
they turn it to good account, it will ultimately increase 
in their hands with higher and higher results. If we 
are true to our relations to the Saviour, nothing in the 
way of effective usefulness is too much to be expected. 
" Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto 
you." Otherwise, our existence will be fruitless — we 
shall be able neither to perform nor enjoy. " With- 
out me, ye can do nothing." 

Now all this is directly and flagrantly in the face 
and eyes of the notions, which, proceeding from their 
accredited teachers, have acquired a wide currency and 
a high authority among the human family. Our use- 
fulness, it is generally supposed, depends on something 
else than our character. "We must beware, therefore, 
of holding aims and employing methods so elevated as 
to forbid success. We are reminded of the multiplied 
failures, which have followed the exertions of those 
philanthropists, who made light of this caution — who 
studying the constructive laws of human nature, have 
endeavored in the name of the Saviour to raise man? 
7 



146 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



kind to their proper worth and dignity. Brought thus 
into conflict with the sentiments and habits, which ge- 
nerally prevail, their best efforts have proved abortive 
— they have wasted their strength and thrown away 
their resources. The good, which, by humoring the 
prejudices and pampering the passions of their fellows, 
they might have done, they have failed to accomplish. 
Instead of this, they have exposed themselves to sus- 
picion, opprobrium and persecution ; and with all their 
honesty and earnestness have " put back" the good 
cause to which they were devoted. Did not the mul- 
titude in the very presence of the crucified Saviour ex- 
claim, wagging their heads: 4 'Thou that destroy est 
the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself. 
If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." 
And for this taunt, so bitterly derisive — so cruelly blas- 
phemous, did not their ecclesiastics furnish a distinct 
and emphatic echo ? And was not His mission hither 
generally reckoned an egregious failure? And how 
else have their exertions been regarded, no matter in 
what department of human responsibility, who have 
modelled themselves upon his character — who in pur- 
suing the same great objects have employed his me- 
thods ? They have always and every where been re- 
viled as visionaries — as lacking common-sense — as ill- 
acquainted with human nature — as reckless, self-confi- 
dent and obstinate — as touched with insanity — as dis- 
posed to misanthropy. Their principles, it is admitted, 
are sound, and their integrity above suspicion. They 
often think clearly, mean well and act resolutely ; but 
then, it is affirmed, they lay out their strength in at- 
tempting the impracticable. And so, their fellows 
stand aloof from them as unworthy of countenance, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



147 



confidence and cooperation. Thus they, who railed at 
Jesus, wag their heads at his disciples. 

In the sphere of Politics, it is admitted, that only the 
wise and strong — that only the magnanimous and he- 
roic should be placed at the head of affairs. When a 
name thus distinguished is repeated, one and another, 
of this party or that, promptly exclaims, he is worthy 
of general confidence, and. we would gladly give him 
our support. But he cannot be elected. Why should 
we throw away our vote by resisting the majority ? 
Better give our suffrage to a bad candidate, who may 
be elected, than to a good one, whose qualifications are 
so high as to place office beyond his reach. To justify 
himself in occupying such ground, one of the number 
thus described gave public utterance to the following 
words, which stick fast to one's memory : " The can- 
didate of the League, we reverenced over all men liv- 
ing, and, as a man, he was entitled to our vote above 
all other men; while, on the other hand, old party 
associations had embittered us towards the Free Soil 
candidate. But the League had no friends in Penn- 
sylvania — not even enough to form an electoral ticket. 
We could not have retained fifty subscribers in sup- 
port of it. There was then no prospect of usefulness 
in that direction. On the other hand, the people were 
flocking in crowds to the Free Soil platform, and there 
was every prospect of accomplishing much good by 
going with them." And with them he went, a miser- 
able victim of the sensual philosophy. 

I once ventured to remonstrate with an acquaintance 
of high standing among the more zealous religionists 
in the city of New-York, on giving his countenance to 
the 11 negro-pew," that consecrated monument of " re- 



148 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



spect of persons." The evil of the thing, he felt and 
deplored. It was manifestly at war with the spirit and 
design of the Gospel. It was equally absurd, cruel 
and mischievous. But then what good would come 
from opposing the irresistible and inevitable? To 
maintain church arrangements in New- York without 
the " negro-pew," he affirmed, was impracticable, 
lie, therefore, gave it his countenance; reluctantly, 
regretfully, remorsefully indeed ; but still he gave it 
his countenance ! 

Now in opposition to all such conclusions, the Sav- 
iour defines in the text the only ground, on which w^e 
can accomplish any thing in our exertions. We must 
identify ourselves with him. Unless we rise above 
him in our aims and endeavors, we do not rise above 
the ground of successful effort. All things here are 
practicable. On any other ground, the most strenuous 
exertions must be fruitless. So he, who speaks with 
kingly authority, affirms. Let us, as far as we may be 
able, look into this matter ; with all earnestness and 
patience, let us look into it, for it nearly concerns us — 
touches us vitally. 

Our Saviour employs the term " do" — " without me 
ye can do nothing" — not according to popular usage, 
but with philosophical exactness and propriety. In 
some sense, we may be said to do, however we may 
exert ourselves. All our movements, in this sense, 
may be described as doing. But the word has here 
another and a higher meaning. It describes whatever 
in human activity goes to preserve, to build up, to 
carry forward the object it affects, to its proper desti- 
nation — whatever embodies itself in substantial and 
enduring results. Every effort, which is adapted to 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



149 



develop and mature human nature, on a smaller or a 
larger scale, in its individual or social manifestations, 
according to its constructive principles, belongs to the 
sphere of doing. Him, who is naturally and properly 
my king, I may see upon a cross, the object of almost 
universal derision, reproach and abhorrence. His 
sufferings, according to the general sentiment, are a just 
punishment. Now, if in this disguise and under these 
disadvantages, I cordially and reverently recognize His 
claims, meekly putting myself under his control, and 
resolutely sustaining his authority, however I may in- 
cense the multitude around, I am acting according to 
my nature and relations. / exert myself manfully' — 
urging my way, to be sure, amidst embarrassments and 
obstructions numerous and formidable enough — still 
urging my way towards my proper destination. In 
distinction from — in opposition to the multitude around 
me, I am doing something — I make a successful effort — 
I produce a result, as substantial and enduring as the 
sceptre of the Messiah. — In the mean time, the mad- 
dened, reckless multitude, which dipped their hands in 
His blood, have been occupied, not with doing, but 
with the opposite of that — with undoing — with per- 
verting, injuring, destroying. They may swell and 
swagger as they will — they may rend the air with their 
shouts, boasting that their counsels, plans, exertions 
have been crowned with success, but they labor under 
a most grievous mistake. Success ! What, in tramp- 
ling on their own nature ! In degrading themselves 
below the most envenomed reptiles ! In stabbing their 
own vitality ! Is the drunkard crowned with success, 
when he falls into the gutter? Or the debauchee, 
when he writhes in unutterable agony on his loathsome 



150 



SERMONS AJSTD DISCOURSES. 



couch ? Or the suicide, when he cuts his own throat ? 
Yes, just as successful as are the headlong creatures, 
who glory in having placed at the head of affairs in 
this republic a mere fighter, with his hands covered 
with the blood of innocence ! They belong to the 
class — not of doers, but of undoers, of destroyers f 

In any sphere of activity appropriate to our powers, 
two things, mutually implied in each other, are mani- 
festly requisite to success. That we, 1, acquire self- 
possession, — We have a nature of our own. Into our 
structure, as members of the human family, enter ele- 
ments, altogether characteristic. By these we are dis- 
tinguished from all the creatures, by which we are sur- 
rounded. Just so far as in any of oar movements, 
these are brought into requisition, do we act character- 
istically — just so far do we manifest our proper nature 
— do we behave manlike. In "tins respect and that, do 
we in our native endowments and attributes occupy 
ground in common with the brute creation. Like 
them, we have instincts, senses, appetites, passions. 
These, however, belong to us as human creatures, and 
are to be exercised and provided for in accordance with 
our proper nature. They are to be held subordinate 
to our higher powers — the powers, by which we are 
armed in distinction from brutes. If our higher pow- 
ers are brought into subserviency to them — a thing 
which so generally marks human history — then our 
activity is unnatural — monstrous — unmanlike ; sinking 
us far below the brutes. Here we are not ourselves — 
do not exert ourselves. Our proper personality is not 
brought into requisition. We do not possess ourselves 
— have not acquired self-possession. We are pos- 
sessed by our appetites, senses, passions. As endowed 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



151 



with human nature, we can in this condition do no- 
thing — appropriate nothing — enjoy nothing. In all 
such respects, we rather fall below, than rise above, 
merely brute natures. The drunkard, the debauchee, 
the slave of ambition, avarice, or malice, none of their 
acquaintance regard as in possession of themselves. In 
their aims, methods and exertions, they are generally 
pronounced unnatural — unmanly. — We must become 
ourselves, before we can accomplish or enjoy any 
thing characteristically. The elements of our nature 
must he wrought into our habits. We are, as partakers 
of humanity, reasonable — endowed with reason. This 
attribute belongs to us, characteristically. To be hu- 
man, then, our actions must be reasonable. When in 
our aims and exertions we become so, we become our- 
selves. Then our efforts will be a manifestation of 
our proper personality — will be human efforts. Then 
shall we do, appropriate, enjoy, characteristically. 

In this — in thus becoming ourselves, lies the very pith 
of Regeneration. "That," affirms the great Teacher, 
" which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is 
born of the spirit is spirit." In human nature, you find 
flesh and you find spirit. What can the development 
of the former be but flesh ? Modify it as you will, endow 
it as you will, arm it with whatever instrumentalities ; still 
it is — it must be flesh. It cannot rise above itself. It 
may press into its service the laws of heaven — may in 
some sense make the Messiah himself, as indeed it often 
does, its minister — may enslave the higher elements of 
human nature : — still all its manifestations will be like 
itself fleshly. So long as we are under the control of 
the flesh— of the animal of human nature, so long are 
we incapable of obedience to the Messiah — " cannot 



152 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



enter the Kingdom of Heaven." But we cannot be- 
come ourselves until our whole nature — whatever is 
essential to our personality, is, characteristically, brought 
into requisition. Now our personality lies especially 
in the spirit — in the power of understanding and obey- 
ing the laws of the Creator — in the power of appro- 
priating the light, and yielding to the demands, of rea- 
son. When our nature in this respect is developed and 
brought into requisition, then we become ourselves ; 
then are we "born of the Spirit; 7 ' then our exertions 
will be manifestations of our proper personality ; they 
will be natural, human, manlike. For that which, is 
born of the Spirit — all its manifestations — will be spirit 
— will be true to itself. This is to acquire self-possession 
— to "come," in the very appropriate words of the 
Saviour, "to ourselves and this is undeniably essen- 
tial to our success in any human enterprise. 

2. To the same result, moreover, it is essential, that 
we exert ourselves according to the laws, which prevail in 
our field of activity. As there is a mutual adaptedness 
between ourselves and our field of activity, the laws 
which vitalize our existence, and the laws which pre- 
vail around us, must be essentially the same. We ac- 
quire self-possession by exerting ourselves reasonably, 
manfully towards the objects, by which we are sur- 
rounded. Self-possession implies such exertion ; and 
such exertion involves self-possession. 

Now we are dependent creatures. This is obvious, 
undeniable, universally admitted. Dependence per- 
vades our being at every point — reaches every drop of 
blood and every thread of nerve. We cannot act in 
character, as reasonable creatures, otherwise than by 
adapting our exertions to our nature in this as in other 



SEKM0NS AND DISCOURSES, 



153 



respects. Thus only can our efforts, whatever they 
may be, be truly human — be a manifestation and ex- 
pression of ourselves. Thus only can we either do or 
enjoy, characteristically. Our nature as dependent im- 
plies the Absolute Will. From Him we proceeded, by 
him are we sustained, to him are we responsible. He 
is the Life of our life, the Vitality of our existence. 
Now the Absolute Will manifests himself in and through 
the laws, which pervade our personality and which con- 
trol the objects around us. • In these, we have his ma- 
jestic presence. They are the sceptre in his hand. 
Through them, he asserts his authority, offers counsel 
and assistance, and confers the richest benefits. What 
can the dependent will effect in opposition to the Ab- 
solute ? Surely nothing. What may it not effect in 
subserviency to — in coincidence with the Absolute ? 
Hear the Saviour : " If ye abide in me and my words 
abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be 
done unto you." When our aims, methods and ex- 
ertions are adapted to the principles and arrangements 
of the Divine Government, we cannot exert ourselves 
in vain — our efforts will be effective — our endeavors 
successful. 

We are now ready to give direct and earnest atten- 
tion to the assurance of the Saviour, which is the soul 
and substance of the paragraph, with which in this dis- 
course we are occupied. If we identify ourselves with 
him, success will crown our exertions. For in so do- 
ing, we comply with the conditions, on which effective 
effort depends ; in other words, we thus acquire self- 
possession and adapt ourselves to the laws, which assert 
their authority in our field of activity. — Who is He? 
then, who gives us this assurance ? We recognize in 
7* 



154 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



him the same nature as we ourselves are partakers of. In 
his structure and ours, the same elements were com- 
bined and vitalized. He as well as we was human. 
In him, however, our nature, both in constitution and 
manifestation, was altogether royal. His attributes, 
native and acquired, were sublimely kingly. Human 
Nature in him rose to the highest pitch of worth and 
dignity. He lived amidst the relations — was sur- 
rounded with the objects — was summoned to the du- 
ties, which are naturally appropriate to the human 
family. Of this family, then, he was the King — the 
Messiah, by a necessity as strong as the arm of Omni- 
potence. He could be nothing less than the Messiah. 
His kingship was enthroned in his character. The 
sceptre could not be separated from his native powers 
and acquired habits. While himself, he must be king. 
And this, with or without the consent of those, by 
whom he was surrounded. "Whether they yielded or 
withheld their homage — whether they bowed to his 
authority or resisted it — whether they raised him to a 
throne or to a cross, He was equally their sovereign. 
The relations, which he sustained to mankind, were in 
the highest degree significant — replete with the weight- 
iest meaning. To every man — for every man, he was 
a royal brother. 

The nature, which is wrought into every child of 
Adam — the nature, which is the very soul of his per- 
sonality — the self of himself, was in the Saviour in 
the highest degree what it was — in the highest degree 
human nature. Every man, then, might see in Him 
himself- — his own nature raised immeasurably above 
himself in every proper element — in every character- 
istic attribute. Amidst the human family he must be 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



155 



himself — must be in aim and activity what he was in 
nature and character. This every child of Adam was 
entitled to expect — was entitled, I may reverently say, 
to demand ; was therefore entitled to demand and ex- 
pect that the Saviour would act the part of a king for 
his benefit. For He was his king. And in this was 
involved, from this might be derived, whatever the 
highest welfare of mankind could require. 

The presence, the aims, the activity of the Messiah 
are naturally adapted to produce the highest effect on 
the character and condition of his subjects. The supe- 
riority of any of our fellows, wherever and however 
manifested, we cannot regard with indifference. The 
true leader in any high enterprise — how inspiring, how 
invigorating is the influence his presence exerts upon 
us ! He is as it were the life-breath in our nostrils — 
the soul of our souls — so that we live in him a higher 
life — wield in him more decisive powers. With him 
we may accomplish what without him we could hardly 
attempt. 

In the Messiah, in his relations to us, there is, 
1. Authority to arouse. — The authority of any pre- 
sence will be as its natural worth — its intrinsic dignity. 
This, if we are truly alive, will come " home to our 
business and bosoms" — making there its appropriate 
impression. A great name — a superior power naturally 
makes itself felt as a great name — a superior power. 
It arrests our attention — it takes hold of us — it arouses 
us. It wakes us up to thought, reflection, study. We 
give heed to what it may urge on our regard, in what- 
ever way it may manifest itself. — Mankind are alwa} r s 
taken, aroused, borne away by what they regard as 
indications of superior power — by greatness under all 



156 



SEBMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



its manifestations. True, the}' often make mistakes, 
led astray by the false appearances, by which they are 
haunted. They often call the little, great ; and the 
great, little. They often thus involve themselves in 
gross absurdity, heavy guilt and deep misery. Hence 
the deplorable condition of the human family. But 
in despite of all this, the tendency of the nature they 
inherit, is manifest. "What they regard as greatness — 
as superior power, takes hold of them — arouses them — 
awakens in them thought, reflection and something of 
awe. If it be really greatness and superior power, be- 
fore which they stand, the effect thus produced is 
marked, decisive, permanent. What, then, must be 
the effect, which the presence of the Saviour is adapted 
to produce? His worth is immeasurable — his great- 
ness incomprehensible. He is the very soul of dignity 
— rising in his nature and habits to the very pinnacle 
of the morally sublime. How can we as living souls 
stand before him without finding ourselves thoroughly 
awakened — aroused — awe-struck ? And then, 

2. There are attractions to draw as. — The greatness of 
the Saviour consists in solid and enduring excellence. 
It is intrinsic, essential greatness. His excellence, 
moreover, is strictly human — the excellence of a human 
being, as a human being. As the Messiah, he does not 
rise above the limits of humanity. He not only carries 
humanity with him to the throne ; his kingship is en- 
throned in humanity. In his aims, methods and ex- 
ertions — in the elements of his nature, and the traits 
of his character, he must therefore be intelligible to 
mankind. His perfections, they cannot help perceiv- 
ing as perfections. Whatever is so seen, is seen to be 
attractive ; in other words, we are drawn towards it — 



SERMONS Al^D DISCOURSES.. 



157 



naturally stretch out our arms to embrace — to appro- 
priate it. This effect must be produced in us by every 
exalted form of our own nature — of course in the high- 
est degree by that form, which is raised to the loftiest 
heights of kingship in the Saviour. Thus affected, we 
find, 

3. In Him an example to teach us. — The true way of 
appropriating what thus arouses us — thus attracts us, 
is laid open in the example of the Saviour. In it, we 
have all the lessons of heavenly Wisdom, which are 
essential to our improvement and welfare, embodied, 
vitalized — in full activity. Thus presented, they are 
in the highest degree intelligible and impressive. Not 
in words only, in deeds also, the Saviour shows us what 
is truly — what is in the highest degree, manly. What we 
should be, we find in him, in full strength and beauty. 
He furnishes us in himself with a living model, on 
which we are to fashion ourselves — on which each of 
us may in his own personality build up a true man — a 
man whose character will be a genuine reflection of 
the excellence of the Saviour. This, the great end of 
our existence, his example teaches us how to achieve. 
And then in him, we have, 

4. Whatever of sympathy and assistance our necessities 
may require. — He is naturally and necessarily our 
king — our Messiah. He is so, as infinitely superior to 
us in all the elements and attributes, of which human 
nature is capable. As a man, he is a king — as a king, 
he is a man. More. As a man, he is the King — as a 
king, he is the Man. As such, he cannot but take the 
deepest interest in — cannot but cherish the most effect- 
ive sympathy with, every thing human. His regard for 
our nature, so deep-toned and comprehensive — so truly 



158 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



royal, he naturally extends in full measure, to all our 
efforts, however feeble and awkward, to reach the 
proper goal of our being — to act worthily of ourselves; 
in other words, to be to him as subjects what he is to us 
as Sovereign. Hence the labors, which he performed — 
the sufferings, he endured. These, both the one and 
the other, were truly Messianic — belonged to, and grew 
out ofj his relations to us as the Christ — as our king. 
Amidst these relations, and under this character, he 
ascended to the heights of royalty in heaven, where he 
reigns — lives right royally for our benefit. In all our 
endeavors — amidst all our struggles to acquire self- 
possession — to reach solid worth and enduring dignity 
— to become ourselves — true and faithful men, we may 
reckon on his countenance and assistance. Whatever 
of encouragement and restraint — whatever of guidance 
and control and protection we may need, he will afford, 
promptly, liberally, effectively. The character, he ma- 
nifests — the relations, ho sustains — the position, he oc- 
cupies make all this altogether certain. He cannot do 
otherwise without denying himself. And he is as im- 
mutable as he is excellent. — Why, then, should he not 
assure us, that by identifying ourselves with him, we 
fulfill the conditions of extensive and effective useful- 
ness — we achieve success — we become doeks in our va- 
rious spheres of exertion and responsibility ? 

But how may we reach his presence and secure the 
benefits, which he thus offers ? Long ago, and in a 
distant country, he made his appearance and mani- 
fested his kingly character. We are here, far away 
from the field of his labors and the scene of his suffer- 
ings — in an age and in circumstances far removed from 
those, amidst which he uttered his voice and expended 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



159 



his strength. How then may we reach his presence, 
and avail ourselves of his perfections ? We may ap- 
proach him, 1, through the pages of History. Sketches 
of his life and outlines of his doctrines are thus pre- 
served for our benefit. To every thing essential in his 
character, designs and methods, we thus have access. 
And the monuments, on which all this is inscribed, 
have many a time and in many a way been shown to 
be worthy of the fullest confidence. But aside from 
what is commonly reckoned historical, the strongest 
internal evidence shines through the record. The cha- 
racter of Jesus Christ is intrinsically and necessarily 
true : it is a fact altogether natural, vital, substantial. 
What we know to be the Laws of our existence, as 
human creatures, are in him manifestly incarnate and 
sublimely alive. They live in his life, they speak in 
his words, they, act in his deeds. He is just what these 
laws require — is that in the highest degree — in other 
words, is just what they most imperatively demand. 
He is, then, just such a personality, as the voice of the 
Infinite Wisdom and Goodness authoritatively summons 
into existence and activity — as is obviously required 
by, and beautifully adapted to, the designs and arrange- 
ments of the Divine Government. Without him, the 
ends and objects which are expressed and implied in 
the laws of our being — the laws therefore, of the Eternal 
Throne, could not have been reached. The Evange- 
lical records are, therefore, internally and necessarily 
true — worthy of all confidence — as truly so, as the 
principles of the Divine government — as the laws, of 
whose authority all men are conscious. 

Now the elements of such a character are in them- 
selves imperishable. They involve the essential attri- 



160 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSED. 



butes of the Eternal Godhead. He is necessarily " one 
with the Father." The Deity lives in, and manifests 
himself through, the Messiah. We cannot separate 
the Creator from the Saviour. The presence, the 
authority, the overtures, the activity of the One must, 
then, be the activity, the overtures, the authority, the 
presence of the Other. The Saviour, then, is always 
near us — always accessible. We are always oversha- 
dowed by his throne. 

If however we desire for ourselves the benefit of his 
incarnation, we are furnished, 2, tcith a medium of ac- 
cess to him, as " manifested in the flesh? He lives in 
every law-abiding man — in all our wise, just, brave 
and faithful brothers. Just so far as they are such, in 
them he is anew incarnate. Every hero is a hero by 
virtue of his likeness to the Messiah. He is a natural 
medium, through which the Saviour stands incarnate 
before us. Thus through wise and faithful parents, 
teachers, captains — through all our wise and faithful 
fellows — men, women, children — He manifests his pre- 
sence and exerts his power. Through them, therefore, 
we manifest our regard for him ; and through them he 
manifests his regard for us. If we avail ourselves of 
their magnanimity, wisdom, power, then and thus do 
we avail ourselves of his perfections. If ice stand aloof 
from them ; if we hold them in light estimation, we can 
by no means gain access to him — can by no means appro- 
priate the benefits of Redemption. 

Whom, then, in the different departments of human 
responsibility, shall we honor as teachers, guides, ex- 
amples ? In whom shall we confide — with whom co- 
operate ? In the supporters and champions of Order, 
Justice, Rectitude, Philanthropy — in those, who in 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



161 



aim, object, methods, exertions are Christ-like — the 
men, who submit to his authority, work his will, re- 
flect his character ? Just so far as we thus do, and in 
thus doing, do we put ourselves under the control of 
the Messiah. And just so far as we extend these re- 
gards to the selfish, the cunning, the unjust, the misan- 
thropic, do we bow down and worship the Usurper, 
whose image and representatives and champions they 
are. — What, moreover, shall we, each of us amidst his 
own relations and in his own sphere of activity, at- 
tempt ? On what principles, with what aims, and for 
what purposes shall we exert ourselves? Shall we 
right earnestly endeavor to embody in every act the 
principles of the Divine government ; the principles of 
our own nature ; the ideas of Order, Justice, Manliness ? 
If so, happy are we. "We are true workers. We are 
doing something. We are achieving success. We are 
maintaining a vital and fruit-bearing connection with 
the True Vine. No matter what, or where, or how we 
may be in other respects and according to the notions 
of the earthlings around us. All is well with us, now 
and forever. " We may ask what we will, and it shall 
be done unto us." We can otherwise effect nothing 
but our own undoing. We may be busy, and boister- 
ous, and braggart. We may scheme, and struggle, 
and strive. We may make high professions and large 
pretensions. We may make a great ado about the 
enterprises we are engaged in, and the results we are 
achieving. It is all mere noise or something worse. 
We have done nothing better than to collect fagots 
for our own funeral pile. Such branches shall " be 
gathered and cast into the fire and burned." 

If the dominant parties in Politics would remember 



162 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



this — would lay this to heart, they would make less 
noise about what they call their platforms, and pros- 
pects, and success. Poor, blind creatures ! They do 
not even aim at any thing worthy of their relations 
and duties ! They dream, that they can make a king 
of any thing in human form, which they can make 
available with the multitude — for which they can pro- 
cure a majority of votes ! He may be a drunkard, a 
gambler, a debauchee, a mere fighter, a slaveholder — 
he may be drenched in selfishness or fired with misan- 
thropy — he may rely on cunning or violence to accom- 
plish his designs ; may be at open war with the Mes- 
siah, and the very bond-servant of the Usurper ; no 
matter, if he be only available with the majority ! They 
can make a Icing of him with their clamorous breath, 
especially if rendered patent by the power of alcohol ! 
And they can boast and brag and swagger over the 
achievement ! But alas ! alas ! Why should they 
glory in the success which is their own undoing ? The 
success of the reckless, eager suicide ! 

The same general conclusions are equally applicable 
to all other departments of human responsibility ; to 
what is any where and every where generally reckoned 
effective exertion. In Letters, in Commerce, in Reli- 
gion, great numbers will one day find that they have 
thrown away their lives in what they boasted of as 
well-advised and successful endeavors ! 

My brethren, let us lay to heart the assurances, by 
which the Saviour offers to invigorate, encourage, suc- 
ceed us. Let us honor our relations to him, now and ever 
— here and elsewhere. Every vote we may cast, for a hero, 
available or unavailable ; every earnest effort to main- 
tain the claims of Order, Justice, Honesty, Fair-deal- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



163 



ing, true Manliness, is an act of worship, rendered to 
the Messiah. It shall not go unrewarded. It shall be 
crowned with success, certain and abundant. " Where- 
fore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch 
as ye know, that your labor is not in vain in the 
Lord." 



Amidst toil, and trial, and struggle, such as naturally 
fall to the lot of the radical Eeformer, I held on to my 
position as head of the Oneida Institute about ten 
years. About the conclusion of that term, the follow- 
lowing paper, as descriptive of its character, claims, 
and condition, I prepared for the eye and the heart of 
our friends and patrons. In recently reviewing its 
paragraphs, I felt all that is human within me touched 
and moved. 



TEN YEARS IN ONEIDA INSTITUTE. 



The object of the Oneida Institute was Education. 
Within the depths of the human constitution, what 
capacities and powers are concealed ! These should be 
drawn forth, developed, invigorated, matured. This, 
and this only — this, and this always is education. And 
education is liberal, however acquired, just so far as 
this is effected. Manliness* true and strong, this is the 
proper result of education. And a man is a man, just 
so far as he acquires the fall possession, and the free 
use of his powers, and in obedience to the laws of 
his constitution, honors the relations which bind him 
to the living Universe. 

A sound mind in a strong body — that was the aim 
of the Oneida Institute. Why should not the one be 
united with the other ? The body is the instrument 
with which, in various respects, the spirit works its 
will. If the instrument be dull or broken, any one can 
see what the result must be. The student, as well as 
others, must make provision for his various wants, in 
the changeful cin 'i instances of his course. If he is a 
true man, he must be liable to poverty and persecu- 
tion. If he is unable to exert himself in the way of 
self-support, how difficult it must be to maintain self- 
possession and integrity — quietness of mind, and dig- 
nity of character ! On the rocks, which these troubled 
waters conceal, great numbers have made shipwreck. 
A good conscience they have sold for a mess of 
pottage. 

A genuine man, and a true Christian — these are dif- 
ferent names for the same substance. Without Christ 



* Apery, virtus, manliness. 



SEI HONS ASSD DISCOURSES. 



165 



ian character, Humanity must be sickly, lame, defective. 
It is at variance with the laws of its constitution. And 
saintship, which does not strike its roots into the 
human heart ; which, does not express itself in aims 
and exertions truly human — in acts of humanity, is at 
best a baptized formula. It is without life, power or 
worth. Such views we have endeavored to embody 
in the Oneida Institute. In all its objects, methods 
and arrangements, conformity to the Christian model 
was earnestly attempted. 

In our course of study, a commanding place was 
assigned to the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures. The 
Latin language we gave up. To attempt that, along 
with Greek and Hebrew, we knew we had not time 
and strength. The intrinsic and everlasting worth of 
the Bible, who can estimate ? It is altogether divine ; 
a fair expression of infinite wisdom and goodness. It 
sheds a heavenly light along the pathway of human 
improvement. The lessons which shine upon its pages 
were suggested by the Mind of all minds — the Father of 
spirits. In giving them, it was his purpose to quicken 
and renovate the man within us ; to invigorate and re- 
fresh our powers ; to enrich and refine our hearts ; to 
train us up for large and high spheres of noble activity. 
Could we, engaged in the work of education, overlook 
the Bible ? And slight the venerable language in 
which a large part of it was written ! When helps for 
its acquisition, well suited to the case, were fully within 
our reach ! And all for the sake of studying the 
literature, comparatively dark and poor, of a martial 
people ! Such a thing we could not do without be- 
traying, in contempt of the obligations we had as- 
sumed, the cause of human improvement. 



166 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



The Bible, moreover, is in the hands of nearly all 
who have any knowledge of letters. As a divine 
boot, as the word of God, they more or less frequent ly 
and earnestly peruse it. Its high claims, comprehensive 
princij)les, solid maxims ; its laws reaching every 
human relation, and every form of human existence ; 
its fresh, luminous and weighty doctrines ; the strong- 
light it sheds upon the eternity with which we are 
vitally connected ; its fragments of history, and its 
sketches of biography, expressing much and implying 
more ; all these things can hardly fail, more or less, to 
rouse the least reflective of its readers. To them, the 
benefits it offers are rich and lasting. The field of 
literature, however, into which the Bible leads us, is 
vast in extent, and replete with a great variety of ob- 
jects, to which we are nearly related. As our ac- 
quaintance with these objects ripens, the Bible becomes 
more and more intelligible. Its nx^sterious and awful 
depths grow more and more luminous. Here, then, the 
scholar should qualify himself to help his unlettered 
brethren. Whatever is requisite to bring him into full 
rympathy with the sacred writers, he should earnestly 
seek and diligently cultivate. He should learn to put 
his soul in their souls' stead ; to take the position they 
occupied ; to see through their eyes, and speak through 
their lips. How important to him must be the lan- 
guages they spoke ; the laws, institutions, arrangements 
and usages with which they were familiar ; the circum- 
stances, every way, in which they were placed ! He 
is to be the interpreter of his brethren ; to make the 
heavenly voice in their ears more clear and significant. 
He is thus to lay hold of their confidence, love, and 
veneration. He is thus to make them see that his 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



167 



learning is something better than an imposing formula 
— that it sheds light around, and imparts vitality. The 
Bible thus becomes a bond of union between the 
learned and the unlearned — awakening in them a deep 
interest in each other, and binding them closely to each 
other. Can any thing like this be said of any other 
book — and especially of any book within the range of 
Latin literature ? 

There is another respect in which the Bible, as a 
text-book, clearly deserves the earnest and fixed atten- 
tion of every student. It contains the charter of human 
freedom. It lays bare the foundation of human nature ; 
and discloses our relations, duties, and prerogatives. 
The intrinsic worth of humanity it asserts; and re- 
quires all men to do it honor. It requires every man 
to recognize in every man a brother ; whom he is, in 
all respects, to regard fraternally. Thus they are 
raised to a common level with each other, where they 
are mutually to subserve each other's welfare. With 
these general views, the Spirit of the sacred volume 
is in the sweetest harmony — to these general views all 
its lessons of instruction are adapted. Such views, 
once wrought into the texture of his character, and the 
student becomes what his relations to his fellow-men 
demand; the intelligent, affectionate, and determined 
advocate of freedom. Let him, from the commence- 
ment to the close of his literary career, study the Bible, 
not merely as the hand-book of devotion, but also as 
the text-book of heavenly wisdom — whence, especially, 
the means of a thorough discipline — a liberal educa- 
tion, are to be derived ; and he can hardly fail to con- 
tribute his share towards the maintenance of those 
rights and prerogatives in which, along with the dis- 



168 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



charge of corresponding duties, human welfare is 
vitally involved. As the friends of freedom, what 
less could we do than give to the Bible a commanding 
place in our course of study ? 

And then, as a work of taste, fitted, while it arouses 
and invigorates, to cultivate and refine ; what can be 
compared with the Bible ? Here, men of the clearest 
vision and strongest powers have expressed themselves 
with the most decisive emphasis.* Such massive 
thought, such bursts of eloquence, such strains of 

* " David sang hymns of bolder flight than even Pindar, and gov- 
erned a kingdom to boot." — Herder. 

" The Sacred Books stand so happily combined together, that even 
out of the most diverse elements, the feeling of a whole still rises be- 
fore us. They are complete enough to satisfy ; fragmentary enough 
to excite ; barbarous enough to rouse ; tender enough to appease ; 
and for how many other contradicting merits might not these Books, 
might not this one Book be praised." — Goethe. 

u I call the Book of Job, apart from all theories about it, one of the 
grandest things ever written with pen. One feels, indeed, as if it were 
not Hebrew ; such a noble universality, different from noble patriotism 
or sectarianism, reigns in it. A noble Book ; all men's Book ! It is 
our first, oldest statement of the never-ending Problem — man's destiny, 
and God's ways with him here in this earth. And all in such free, 
flowing outlines ; grand in its sincerity, in its simplicity ; in its epic 
melody, and repose of reconcilement. There is the seeing eye, the 
mildly understanding heart. So true, every way ; true eyesight and 
vision for all things ; material things no less than spiritual : the Horse 
— ' hast thou clothed his neck with thunder V — he 1 laughs at the shak- 
ing of the spear !' Such living likenesses were never since drawn. 
Sublime sorrow, sublime reconciliation ; oldest choral melody as of the 
heart of mankind — so soft, and great ; as the summer midnight, as the 
world with its seas and stars ! There is nothing written, I think, in 
the Bible or out of it, of equal literary merit." — Carlylc. 

" These writings form a fiery and god-like fountain of inspiration, 
of which the greatest of modern poets have never been weary of 
drinking ; which has suggested to them their noblest images, and ani- 
mated them for their sublimest flights." — Schlegel. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



169 



poetic rapture ; its simplicity concealing its depths, and 
its depths making its simplicity awful ; every where, 
the beautiful rising to the sublime, and the sublime 
melting away into the beautiful ; such sweetness, grace, 
and -power — why, the Bible among other books ! 
What are street-lamps amidst the effulgence of the 
sun ! Why, then, should not the Bible, out of regard 
to the claims of taste, be made a leading text-book in 
education ? 

A characteristic feature of the Oneida Institute con- 
sists In the union of manual with mental labor. The 
wants of the student are various. He is hemmed in 
like other men with necessity. He must incur ex- 
pense. He must have food, clothing, books. He must 
pay for the tuition he receives. Incidental demands 
upon his purse arise continually. How are all these 
things to be provided for ? From the estate of his 
father ? From some charitable fund ? Often, but not 
always. Has not the man a pair of hands ? Does not 
every day furnish him with hours which he cannot 
devote to study ? And fair occasions for manual exer- 
tion ? Will he be less a man for exerting himself 
prompt] y, cheerfully, resolutely, to make provision for 
the necessities which press so heavily upon him ? How 
otherwise can he preserve his health ? And the vigor 
and elasticity of his powers ? And sympathy with the 
majority of mankind — manual laborers, of course ? 
And a good conscience ? And a great heart ? And 
a strong character ? He whom pride, indolence or 
weakness withholds from the sphere of manual labor, 
in despite of the frequent occasions which arise, can at 
best be only the fragment or shadow of a man. Could 
the friend of education neglect such a matter, without 
forfeiting the confidence of true hearts ? 
8 



170 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



In admitting students to the Oneida Institute, as 
little regard was liad to their complexion as to their 
size : to the color of their skin as to the color of their 
hair. Some other things we felt bound to look to and 
insist upon. Upon this, not at all. " Eespect of per- 
sons" is as inconsistent with sound scholarship as with 
sincere piety. Both with the one and the other, it is 
flagrantly at variance. Of education, under all its 
forms, it is the natural object to develop, invigorate, 
mature the man within us — to form us to a manly cha- 
racter. Just so far as he is educated, the student will 
be a man among men. If we had admitted students 
according to a standard which looks not to the charac- 
teristic and essential elements of humanity, but to the 
accidents of its existence — to the size of the body — the 
color of the hair — the complexion of the skin — what 
could we effect in the work of education ? We might 
have constructed certain learned machines, if not of 
cast-iron or well-tanned leather, why then of flesh and 
bones; " made to order," and adapted to the purpose 
for which they were intended. But could living men, 
generous, wise, strong — intent on promoting every way 
the welfare of mankind, grow up among our hands ? 
Only such can be of real service to the world. 

Besides, we could not deny that we sustained rela- 
tions to American slavery, as significant as they were 
painful. It was the sin and the shame of the republic 
to which we belonged. We were sharers in the guilt 
it involves. In common with our countrymen^ we 
were called to repentance. Such a system of iniquity, 
so glaring and atrocious, must, we saw plainly enough, 
" prove our ruin," if persisted in. The contempt with 
which, in every way, colored people are regarded 



SERMONS A3TD DISCOURSES. 



171 



among ourselves, any one at all gifted with eye-sight, 
could not fail to see was the strongest prop of Ameri- 
can slavery. This contempt was not without results. 
A rotten carcase — does it not naturally breed worms ? 
The colored people, say in the State of New- York, are 
insulted, degraded, oppressed, wantonly and cruelly. 
Will not the natural results follow ? What could we 
expect but a large amount of ignorance, and vice, and 
wretchedness ? The fruit of the tares, which, like 
enemies of mankind, we had all along been so busy 
a-sowing ! And now, to stand aloof from our own 
mother's children, on account of the wounds we had 
inflicted on them ! We know not where to look for 
meanness and cruelty under a more repulsive form. 

What less could we do than open our doors to a 
people whom we had helped to reduce to ignorance and 
degradation ? Whatever we could do to elevate their 
character went, we knew, to break the chains of 
slavery. Fine friends of freedom they must be, who, 
in their own proper sphere of activity, greet it with 
drawn daggers ! And this is the attitude of every 
school, higher or lower, in our country, which, in any 
way, discourages the admission of the colored student, 
on account of his complexion. 

What is science? In what may it consist? In 
what, but in the constructive laws of human nature, 
upon which, as a heavenly model, it was wrought and 
fashioned ? And what can be the aim of education 
but to develop and mature human nature according to 
these laws, so fundamental, so immutable, so universal ? 
What sort of a teacher can he be — how much of a 
philosopher, who can not recognize the elemental fea- 
tures of human nature, beneath an unfashionable com- 



172 



SEEMONS AND DISCOUESES. 



plexion ! I will not say that such an one might not 
be useful in assorting ribbons — might not answer the 
milliner some purpose. But in the work of educa- 
tion — a night-mare is better ! 

Now for the encouragements with which we entered 
on our enterprise at the Oneida Institute. So far as 
the admission of colored students was concerned — a mat- 
ter which attracted general notice — might we not fairly 
expect to be sustained and cheered by the professed 
friends of freedom, increasing almost every day, and 
almost every where ? Efforts to secure for colored 
students such advantages as we offered had been made 
in different places — at New-Haven and Canterbury, 
Conn. ; at New-Canaan, N. H. — with very marked re- 
sults. The slaveholding spirit, circulating in all the 
veins of the republic, was aroused. It broke forth 
under forms not only repulsive, but frightful also. It 
opened the way to the colored people for such insults 
and injuries as made the heart of humanity bleed. The 
sympathies of the friends of freedom w^ere excited. 
They were assailed at a point which they felt to be 
vital to the enterprise they were enlisted in. The ele- 
vation of the colored people to their proper position in 
society ; this they had all along regarded as essential 
to their success. It was every way a most attractive 
and commanding object. This object entered into the 
very heart of the Oneida Institute. Might it not, then, 
reckon on the lively sympathies and active coopera- 
tion of the friends of freedom ? They had professed, 
moreover, in various ways, a strong confidence in the 
Oneida Institute. They gave it a good character, and 
warm commendations. In many instances, they were 
distinguished for their intelligence, wealth and influ- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



173 



ence. Was it rash in us to expect, that while we hon- 
estly and earnestly pursued an object so dear to their 
hearts, they would help us to go forward without em- 
barrassment or apprehension ? 

As to the point of manual labor. Some ten years 
ago, "Weld's Keport on Manual Labor in Literary In- 
stitutions was published. A most remarkable paper ; 
abounding in such facts, arguments, and conclusions, 
as the world ought to give heed to, and be the better 
for. What an array of great names and high authori- 
ties ! Voices breaking forth in clear accents and de- 
cisive tones, from almost all the high places of the 
republic ! From the chair of state, from the bench, 
from the pulpit, from the schools of the prophets, from 
the halls of science, from the retreats of literature, from 
the lone thinker and observer, as well as from the pro- 
fessor of the healing art, came pointed declarations, 
came loud laments, came spirit-stirring warnings — all 
to the intent, if they had. any meaning, that the union 
of manual with mental labor in our literary institu- 
tions was imperatively demanded by all the best inter- 
ests of mankind. One college-president was heard to 
declare that our " colleges and universities" labored in 
the matter under hand under a "radical defect, so 
obvious and striking, too, as to admit of no apology or 
defence and another to answer : " I cannot but con- 
sider a literary institution, which makes no provision 
for the exercise of its students, no better than a manu- 
factory of invalids, and 'the slaughter-house of cultivated 
talent" And as to a remedy ; one of the most distin- 
guished professors of science in our country gives us to 
understand that his "conscience would not rest easy" 
till he had borne his testimony against that system, 



174 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



which, prevails in the New-England colleges generally ; 
containing this emphatic and startling declaration : 
u Almost any system THAT CAN BE proposed has fewer 
difficulties and objections" " Some change," at the point 
in question, he affirms, "must be effected." "If the 
present system does not undergo some change,'' ex- 
claims one of the most eminent surgeons in our coun- 
try, " I much apprehend we shall see a degenerate and 
sinking race, such as came to exist in the higher classes 
in France before the revolution, and such as now de- 
forms a large part of the noblest families in Spain.' 
And this change, it was generally agreed, must make 
provision for at least three or four hours of daily 
manual labor. And by this, it was affirmed, progress 
in study would be accelerated, while in every other re- 
spect a healthful influence, in many respects powerful, 
would be exerted. Thus the tide of general sentiment 
set in strongly in favor of manual labor schools. Might 
we not, without rashness or extravagance, hope that it 
would sustain us in our operations ? 

And as to the study of the Hebrew Scriptures, in- 
stead of the Latin classics — complaints long and loud 
we had heard in the high places of learning in our 
country, that classical learning in the college, and 
sacred literature in the theological seminary, were at- 
tended to to very little purpose.* The student left 

* " For more than twenty years I have been employed in teaching 
New Testament Greek to young men who belong to all the colleges in 
New-England, and to a considerable number out of it. These are 
brought together in one class ; they pursue the same studies ; they 
have full opportunity to develop their previous acquisitions ; and it is 
impossible for me, as an instructor, not to observe what these are." 
" To speak plainly, and without reserve, I must say that there are some 
of the young men that come here, (Andover,) who, if fully and duly 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



175 



college with, too little Greek, to enable him to enter, 
exegetically, on the study of the ISTew Testament with 
ease and advantage ; and the theological seminary, 
with too little Hebrew to enable him to interpret the 
Old Testament wisely and well. Might we not hope 
that we should be encouraged by the knowing ones 
around us in reducing somewhat the number of studies 
reckoned essential to a liberal education ; and in giving 
more earnest heed to the original languages of the 
Sacred Yolume ? 

The amount of funds under the control of the 
Trustees of the Oneida Institute, previously to 1834, 
it is not easy to ascertain. In a paper published in 
that year by them, we have the following declaration : 
" Only about twenty thousand dollars have been com- 
mitted to the disposal of the Oneida Institute. Of the 

examined in the Greek Testament, in order to enter, must inevitably be 
rejected. All this, too, when they come with a diploma in their hand. 
There are not a few who come here, that could not decline a verb, or 
noun, or adjective, in the Greek language, with any tolerable degree 
of certainty that they were in the right throughout. And this is true, 
not only of all the contracted and more difficult forms, but even of 
n fiovaa and ?; §ikia y which belong to the first rudiments of the first 
declension. Every year I am obliged to put my pupils on the first elo- 
ments of Greek Grammar, before I can advance them to the study of 
the New Testament. It is impossible for me to proceed a step in my 
proper business without so doing. All of them, indeed, do not equally 
need this discipline. A few might dispense with it. But, as a class, 
the necessity of their going through with this exercise, is past all ques- 
tion." After dwelling at some length on the results of the methods 
pursued in this department of study in our colleges, our professor says : 
"I know of no real good to be achieved in this way. For myself, I 
would rather receive a young man who had never looked at the Greek 
alphabet, as a promising candidate for the study of exegesis, than to 
deal with one who had been trained up in the way above described." — 
Prof. Stuart, Bib. Rep. vol. ii. pp. 299. 



176 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



losses naturally sustained, and the embarrassments 
naturally encountered at the opening of public schools, 
this has had its full share. Donations have often had 
a nominal, far exceeding their real value." From 1835 
to 1842, the Institute has received, according to our 
treasurer, some eighteen thousand five hundred dollars. 
Of this, more than seven thousand five hundred dollars 
were expended in supporting agencies, and paying in- 
terest on borrowed money ; so that less than fifteen 
hundred dollars a year have been left for our school 
operations. 

"When we entered on our course of study, we had a 
number of students who received assistance from the 
Education Societies. That assistance was, however, 
soon after withdrawn. Their connection with us, and 
not their character as men or students, was the occa- 
sion. By one Society — the Presbyterian — it was 
alleged their rules demanded another course of study 
than we pursued ; and that to enter a Presbyterian 
pulpit, the Book of Discipline demanded of the candi- 
date a Latin exegesis. We studied Hebrew, instead of 
Latin ; how could a student of ours produce such an 
exegesis ? We then turned, supported by the Oneida 
Presbytery, to the Society of whose operations Boston 
was the seat. This Society had gone into a calculation 
to show that there were nearly three thousand young 
men in the country, who ought to be prepared for the 
pulpit by a shorter course of study than the colleges 
prescribed. The official reply was a great curiosity ;* 

* The following paragraphs, appended as a note to Pres. Green's 
Valedictory Address in 1838, may serve to illustrate a number of things 
in this connection. 

In the Report of the American Education Society for the year 1835, 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



177 



well deserving the attention of some Disraeli, should 
such an one ever arise in any such department of light 
literature. The defect, which was fatal to our claims, 
and which prevented the least crumb from the table 

the following statement appears : M Of these," (that is, of twelve thou- 
sand six hundred young men in our churches, who ought to prepare 
themselves for the labors of the pulpit,) " two thousand nine hundred 
and forty are between the ages of twenty-four and twenty-eight. These, 
probably, ought to take a shorter course of education : that is, attend 
to the study of the languages, and other important branches, two or 
three years, at some academy, and then pursue the study of divinity 
regularly at some theological seminary." The students who had put 
themselves under our care were, to a great extent, full-grown men ;" 
such men as, by a fair construction, might well be placed under the de- 
scription in the above quotation. 

Some two years ago, a Committee of the Oneida Presbytery wrote to 
the Directors of the American Education Society at Boston, in behalf 
of such poor and pious students at the Institute as might need pecuni- 
ary assistance in their studies ; making the Report, already quoted 
from, the basis of their appeal. The manner in which their applica- 
tion was disposed of, Dr. Cogswell, in an official letter, thus remark- 
ably describes : 

u The Rule of the Society on this subject is : 1 No person shall be 
patronized, who does not furnish satisfactory evidence of promising 
talents and decided piety, and who is not in the way of obtaining a 
thorough classical and theological education ; that is, either preparing 
to enter college, or a member of some regularly constituted college 
where a thorough classical course is pursued, or engaged in theological 
studies, with the design of taking a regular three years course.' 

" The Oneida Institute, according to their schedule of studies, sent 
us by the Committee of the Presbytery, does not pursue a regular 
classical and theological course of education, so as to come within the 
letter or spirit of the Rule of this Society. It is, in the common ac- 
ceptation of the terms, neither an academy, nor a college, nor a theo- 
logical seminary. Neither can it be regarded as included in the phrase 
' private instruction/ Granting assistance, therefore, to young men at 
that institution, would be a contravention of the Rules of the American 
Education Society, as they now exist, and as they have ever existed. 
This assertion is confirmed by the fact that the Directors of the Pres- 

8* 



178 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ecclesiastical from falling within the reach of any 
student here, lay in this, that we "were not a theological 
seminary a college, an academy, a private hearth, but 
an Institute ! We did not, therefore, fall within the 

byterian Education Society, within whose bounds this institution is 
located, after a full examination of the case, came decidedly to the 
same conclusion. 

" In view of these considerations, your Committee are unanimously 
of the opinion, that it is not consistent to comply with the request of 
the Oneida Presbytery." 

Here, then, we have : 

1. A stupidly grave reference to their Rules, with which our request 
was not more at variance than their own Report. The poor child had 
tied herself up to the bedstead ; how could she do her task ? 

2. "With a formality and force worthy of long ears, we are informed 
that ours is not a theological seminary, nor a college, nor an academy, 
nor a private hearth, but an Institute ! And therefore our students 
can receive no favor from the Education Society ? What an ergo ! 
Here is logic, to say nothing of candor, with a vengeance. Had we 
been known under the nayne of an Academy I 

3. Again. We are referred to the "conclusion' 7 to which the 
"Presbyterian Education Society decidedly came.' 7 And how was that 
conclusion arrived at ? First, by a reference to their own Rules ; and 
secondly, by bowing to the authority of the church which requires 
"the Presbytery to try each candidate as to his knowledge of the Latin 
language, and the Oriental Languages in which the Holy Scriptures 
were written." And so we were officially warned, that one of our 
students would not be Presbyterially licensed to preach, " unless in di- 
rect violation of the Form of Government." Pax, who is understood 
to have been one of the Directors of the Education Society, and to 
have written in a sort of semi-official capacity, had the effrontery to in- 
sinuate, that a student could not " make his way at any theological 
seminary in the land, unless he read Latin familiarly and with ease !" 
How could we regard all this as better than pitiful mockery ? The au- 
thority of the church ! A Latin exegesis ! The original languages of 
the Bible ! Why, how many of the Directors of the Education Society 
could dispose of the plainest problems in Hebrew Literature ? A preg- 
nant answer to this inquiry the public have in the recommendations of 
Roy's Lexicon, which we think Edward Robinson could not hear of in 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



179 



sphere within which their "Kules" confined their 
benefactions. 

About this time, we received assurances from the 
Young Men's Benevolent Society of New- York, of one 
thousand dollars a year, for the benefit of such students 
as the Education Societies had refused any longer to 
assist. The result — the fruit of these assurances, 
amounted in all to a mere fraction of the sum ex- 
pected in a single year ! 

Could it have been a departure from the legitimate 
objects of the Education Societies, to have rendered us 
the assistance we stood in need of ? What if, in our 
course of study, we had departed somewhat from the 
path which the colleges pursued ? Must we, for that, 
deserve reproach, of course ? So clear was it to all 
the friends of education, that in the colleges the best 
methods had, in all respects, been adopted ! Far 
enough from that. Some of the wisest men among us 

o o 

Europe without blushing for his country. And is the Education Society 
at Boston, moreover, bound by the authority of the Presbyterian 
Church? 

In the same report, to which reference was had in the application to 
the American Education Sociey in behalf of poor, pious students at the 
Oneida Institute, the churches at large were charged with guilt in 
neglecting such exertions as might qualify for the pulpit just such 
young men as were pursuing their studies with us ! " Of the twelve 
thousand six hundred, not four thousand — not one third — are prepar- 
ing to preach the Gospel of Christ. This ought not so to be. Awful 
responsibility and guilt rest somewhere." Yes, doubtless. And upon 
none more manifestly and fearfully than upon those who could trifle 
with the claims for encouragement and assistance which, amidst their 
struggles in their way to the pulpit, our students urged upon the Di- 
rectors of the American Education Society. Let all who are concerned 
look to it. Grimace, cant, and rhetorical flourishes may, some time or 
other, be valued according to their worth. 



180 



SEEMONS AND DISCOUESES. 



were warmly in favor of important changes. The 
classics, and especially the Latin classics, had, they 
thought, nsurped a place to which they were not en 
titled. It was, in their view, by no means essential to 
a liberal education that they should be studied at all. 
The Bible, they complained, had been treated with a 
neglect, for which no fair occasion had been offered — 
no good reason could be given ; a neglect, alike dis- 
honorable to Grod, and hurtful to mankind. Our 
methods they regarded with favor and hope. They 
offered us congratulations and encouragement. Not as 
though we had reached the end of inquiry, and need 
think no more of improvements. This was not their 
mind. Neither they nor we thought so. But this 
course could hardly fail to yield the proper results of 
liberal studies ; while, at the same time, it would open 
the way for such inquiries, discussions, and experi- 
ments, as must be promotive of the cause of education. 
To this conclusion, no liberal mind could refuse to sub- 
scribe. And of all men, the Managers of the Educa- 
tion Societies should be the last to expose themselves 
to the charge of illiberality. Were they, then, in with- 
drawing assistance from us, and thus exposing us to 
suspicion and reproach, influenced by some motive 
which they chose to leave unexplained ? 

Were the men among us, who, in the sphere of edu- 
cation, gave tone and character to the general senti- 
ment, distrustful of the ability or fidelity of the In- 
structors of the Oneida Institute ? We cannot pretend 
to be familiar with their thoughts ; but no such thing 
could be inferred from any expression of themselves 
which we had ever witnessed. Our course of study 
we knew they did not approve of ; but we could not 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



181 



infer that they thought us wanting in integrity or 
learning for adopting that. All of our instructors had 
been educated in, and were more or less familiar with, 
the college course. We had never heard it intimated 
that their standing there did not entitle them to confi- 
dence, both as men and as scholars. To the man 
whom we placed at the head of the school, a high cha- 
racter was given by some who are generally reckoned 
among our strongest men and brightest scholars. His 
qualifications, they said, were well adapted to the place 
which we were responsible for filling. And, with our 
eye upon the places to which, in the sphere of letters, 
he had, under like influences, been invited, we could 
hardly suppose that these recommendations were empty 
words. For their particular departments, our other in- 
structors, moreover, were thought to be well fitted. 
They not only had had the benefits of a public educa- 
tion, but had also been accustomed to give instruction. 
One, a number of years connected with us, was edu- 
cated in Scotland ; and a better linguist, and a more 
thorough teacher, we knew not where to look for. "We 
have never heard it hinted that the experiment for 
which the Oneida Institute was responsible, was con- 
fided to unskilful or unfaithful hands. 

In 1840, an agent of the Oneida Institute, a Christ- 
ian minister, remarkable for his integrity and wisdorn 
visited a part of New-England, where intelligence and 
piety are commonly thought especially to flourish. The 
claims of the Institute he presented more or less fre- 
quently, both publicly and privately. In one of the 
so-called bright spots of a so-called sunny region, he 
visited a divine who occupies one of the loftiest pulpits 
in New-England. As a religious teacher, he has every 



182 



SERMOKS AND DISCOURSES. 



where a great name among his countrymen. He pro- 
fesses, moreover, to be a friend of freedom, to the ex- 
tent of being an abolitionist — a rare thing among 
American divines, who have attained, as he has, to the 
title of Doctor of Divinity ! He assured our agent — 
so the matter stands recorded in a letter — that he held 
the President of the Oneida Institute " in the highest 
estimation but as to the manual-labor system, he 
said, that " he supposed that it had altogether fallen 
through. He was not in favor of experiments in edu- 
cation. Nothing could be obtained among the mem- 
bers of his congregation, inasmuch as they regarded 
the foreign missionary enterprise as paramount to all 
others!" "I spent Monday," adds our agent, "in 
calling upon individuals, and found them ALL unpre- 
pared to give us assistance." The principal of an insti- 
tution established in the same city for educational 
purposes, for the benefit of a class of sufferers which 
has strong claims on general sympathy, assured our 
agent that he " thought much of the manual-labor sys- 
tem ; but that it could not succeed, because some insti- 
tutions had been unsuccessful. He declared that they 

ivould not dispense with it in the , though it were 

A DEAD PECUNIARY LOSS." 

These extracts, both the one and the other of high 
authority, may well be regarded as a fair expression of 
what is called the general sentiment in 1840. 

1. " Not in favor of experiments in education I" 
The millennium already here ! The best methods 
already in use for the education of the human spirit 1 
Good news — if once credible ! But are the methods 
now employed adapted to the ends proposed ? Pro- 
vision already made for a sane mind in a sound body ? 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



183 



So that health, and learning, and piety — an open eye, 
a strong hand, a warm heart — all these choice gifts, 
naturally allied, and friendly to each other, find a 
home in our literary institutions generally ! Quite 
other things, looking off in the opposite direction, 
were recently affirmed and put on record by a great 
array of names, occupying a commanding place in the 
catalogues of I know not how many of our literary 
institutions. According to their testimony, 11 almost 
any system," which experiment could propose, would 
be better " than that which prevails in our New-Eng- 
land colleges generally." 

2. But he " thought the manual labor system had 
altogether fallen through." Through what ? Through 
the fingers of those who could not hold on to their 
gingerbread, and ; at the same time, keep a good con- 
science ; and who thought that, according to the 
greatest-happiness philosophy, the gingerbread was to 
be preferred. That gingerbread was sweet, they never 
allowed themselves to doubt ; but if it should turn out 
that God was a mere formula — to be depended on only 
for logical and rhetorical purposes, "what profit"* 
could they derive from a good conscience ? Through 
such fingers, and such fingers only, has the manual- 
labor system fallen ; fingers, that would let go a pillar 
of the universef to snatch at a stick of candy ! 

We cannot forbear here to quote a paragraph from 
a paper published by the then trustees of the Oneida 
Institute a few years ago. " On what ground it can be 
alleged that in any part of our country a fair experi- 
ment of the practicability and excellence of manual 
labor schools has been made, we are sure we do not 

* Job 21 : 15. f Hebrews 2:1. 



184 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



know. We have not been acquainted with any such 
experiment. If all such schools which we have heard 
of, were, under the weight of multiplied embarrass- 
ments, to be given up to-day, our confidence in the 
utility of the design which gave them birth would not 
be a whit diminished. What if Eobert Fulton had 
seen a steamboat launched in a mud-puddle ; would 
he, on that account, have despaired of success in his 
noble enterprise ? Any one may easily perceive that 
the Oneida Institute needs a larger amount of funds to 
meet the design of its establishment, than the college, 
for instance, in the same vicinity. The expense of in- 
struction, buildings, books, and various apparatus, 
must of course be the same in the one place as in the 
other. But at the Oneida Institute, ground, buildings, 
and apparatus, requisite to furnish labor for one hun- 
dred and fifty students, should be secured. Can this 
be done without expense ? Or do some men dream 
that the scholar can, at the same time, work for the 
trustees gratuitously, and for wages? Now, let any 
man of sense and candor compare the amount of money 
which the public have expended on these two institu- 
tions respectively, and then come to the inquiry, Have 
the trustees and instructors of the Oneida Institute had 
the means of trying the practicability and worth of the 
design to which they are devoted ? Will such a man 
rise from the inquiry with the declaration, If the 
Oneida Institute is embarrassed for want of pecuniary 
assistance, then manual labor schools do not deserve 
the confidence and patronage of the Christian public ! 
Such a declaration would indicate more of any thing 
than sense and candor."* 

* See also Lectures of the American Institute of Instruction for 
1S34, p. 196. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



185 



Proof will be furnished in this paper that the sys- 
tem, as applied at the Oneida Institute, has been no 
failure, so far as its intrinsic merits are concerned. 

3. At an institution in the immediate vicinity of our 
grave divine, by whom the learned and the religious 
in our country would feel themselves honored, espe- 
pecially in the matter under hand, to be represented, 
the manual labor system was maintained with the best 
results. The principal " thought much of it ; would 
not dispense with it, even if it were a dead pecuniary 
loss." Think of that. The matter, with its strength 
and beauty, under the eye of our doctor — every day 
there to attract, quicken, refresh him ; and he thought 
it "had altogether fallen through." 

4. And even our principal, who found such a bless- 
ing in it, thought the manual labor system could not 
succeed ! Succeed ! When does a thing succeed, then ? 
Not when it answers the purposes for which it was 
employed ! Not in the present case ; when health and 
morals — when character and welfare — when the glory 
of God and the "chief end of man" are promoted! 
Not at all ! We cannot do without it. It is every 
way a blessing to us ! Still it cannot succeed ! With 
such notions, what a philosophy must prevail ! A 
thing worth looking into ! Among the various Hells 
which different portions of the human family have a 
dread of, the Hell of the English is said to consist in 
"not succeeding."* And it is said they reckon them- 
selves unsuccessful when they fail to get possession of 
the right quantity of "pudding and praise." The Eng- 
lish mind, it seems, is cultivated with great success in 
this country. The manual labor system has been tried. 

* Past and Present, 146. 



186 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



But the requisite amount of "pudding and praise" is 
not forthcoming. It cannot succeed, of course. 

5. But our hold on the general confidence, and our 
prospect of assistance, depend, according to the testi- 
mony of our divine, recorded in our agent's lettei*, 
altogether on something else than our intrinsic merits. 
No matter how well we do. We may every way, and 
on all occasions, acquit ourselves as wise and strong 
men ; and wisdom and strength may be the result of 
our influence upon our students. Their very connec- 
tion with us must involve them in embarrassments 
which will cling to them like their shadows ! So 
stoutly set against us is the Christian public, where 
our divine makes such a figure, that however heroic 
our aims, however noble our endeavors, however high 
our attainments, however strong our character, it inex- 
orably refuses to relax its grim features — to shed upon 
us the faintest smile ! So much for grubbing onions ! 
So much for teaching negroes ! So much for studying 
Hebrew psalms instead of Latin odes ! These are the 
very words which our agent records from the lips of 
our divine: 11 A student from Oneida, no matter what 
his attainments, or character, or influence, vnU always 
labor under an embarrassment, ichich he CANNOT shake 
off." And did our divine come to the assistance of 
Virtue traduced and of Worth persecuted, in the circle 
of his influence ? Not he. "Nothing," he thought, 
" could be obtained among the members of his congre- 
gation, inasmuch as they regarded the foreign mission- 
ary enterprise as paramount to all others !" "I spent 
Monday," adds our agent, " in calling on individuals, 
and found them all unprepared to give us assistance." 

How the manual labor system sometimes falls 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



187 



through, the following statement, from a wise and 
strong man, clearly shows. At no great distance from 
the residence of our divine, a number of thousand dol- 
lars had been subscribed as a basis for a manual labor 
school. The friends of education in the vicinity were 
a-glow with zeal in its behalf. In selecting a site, the 
advice of our informant was solicited. That he might 
speak to the purpose, he rode in company with a 
patron of it hither and thither, examining this position 
and that. The design seemed to be hastening to ma- 
turity, when a sudden blight struck it. It fell blasted 
from the fingers of its patrons — fell, in the language 
of our divine, " altogether through." What was the 
matter ? A professor in a college not fifty miles dis- 
tant, in addressing its patrons, held such language as 
the following: "If the principle of manual labor is 
applied to the academy, the inquiry will generally 
arise, Why not introduce the same thing into the col- 
lege and the professional schools ? Now this, you 

know, cannot be done at college. We must thus 

be exposed to a disturbing force, for which we cannot 
well provide." How could his college make provision 
against so powerfully a disturbing force as must be the 
result of a conflict between its patrons on the one hand, 
and its self-indulgent, w r ork-hating students on the 
other ? And so this man, and that, and the other, put 
their heads together ; and " the manual labor system 
fell through," of course ! 

To explain at some points our own particular em- 
barrassments, we here quote a few paragraphs from a 
paper which, in 1841, we sent to the Eegents of the 
University of New- York : " We have hinted at the 
bearing which the commercial embarrassments of our 



15S 



SEEMOXS A>~D DISCOURSES, 



country had upon the Institute. Out of these, our 
trials have grown partly, but not wholly. Two things, 
in addition, we deem noteworthy. 

" 1. The manual labor feature, by which our Insti- 
tute is strongly marked, those who occupy the high 
places of learning in our country, regard with suspi- 
cion and contempt. A few years ago, they generally 
professed to be warmly in favor of it. It was, they 
affirmed, entitled to complacency and patronage. They 
made, on its behalf, strong declarations, eloquent 
harangues, pointed appeals. To make their argu- 
ments more weighty, and their conclusions more im- 
pressive, they often summoned us to the sick-room 
where the student languished, or to the grave-ground 
where his remains had been entombed. Wasting dis- 
ease here, and early death there, they ascribed to the 
want of the manual labor arrangement in our public 
schools. God by prayer, and man by argument, they 
tried to persuade to lend their assistance in supplying 
a defect so marked and murderous. A document, of 
great worth in itself, and furnishing, under very affect- 
ing forms, illustration and proof of what we now ad- 
vance, we herewith transmit to the Eegents, in the 
4 Eeport of the Society for promoting Manual Labor in 
Literary Institutions.' 

*• But it was soon found that the benefits of manual 
labor no student could secure, without its sdf<lenials. 
The indolent, the self-indulgen-. the slaves of fashion 
and folly, shrunk back, indignant and disgusted at the 
demands which a reformation of so solid a character, 
and of so homely an aspect, seemed likely to impose 
upon them. The distinctions in which artificial life 
consists were in danger. How could 1 respect of per- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



189 



sons' be maintained, where the poor could with labor, 
and the rich could not without it, secure the advantages 
of a liberal education ? 

" Into our colleges and professional seminaries, no 
decisive and well-directed effort was made to introduce 
an innovation, so ungrateful to many of their patrons 
and students ; urging such startling and spirit-stirring 
demands on those who claimed it as their especial pri- 
vilege 4 to be ministered unto;' and involving results 
of such harsh bearing on the cherished arrangements 
of artificial life. And so, and for no higher reason, 
the declaration was made and repeated again and often, 
by those whose authority the world venerates, and 
whose opinions it quotes, that the manual labor arrange- 
ment in our public schools, however desirable, was imprac- 
ticable. And to this declaration, groundless and hurt- 
ful, the general sentiment has at length adjusted itself. 
Empty voices, scattered on surrounding darkness, have 
at length been answered with echoes as empty ! The 
bearing of all this on such as are about to enter on a 
course of liberal study, is obvious enough. Inexperi- 
enced as they are ; alive to whatever may affect their 
reputation ; especially open to all those influences 
which the show of things exerts, they are, to a great 
extent, at the mercy of those who are supposed to con- 
trol the general sentiment. The manual labor school 
is, they think, unpopular. They have heard it lightly 
spoken of in the high places of society. A shade it 
may throw over their prospects of usefulness and re- 
spectability. And such sacred things they must, by 
all means, protect ! The result need not be described. 
Those to whom Heaven has lent the means and given 
the disposition to support, in a pecuniary way, the 



190 



SEEMOXS AND DISCOUKSES. 



cause of letters, will be apt to confine their patronage 
to the institutions where their sons received their edu- 
cation. And very few of these repair to the Oneida 
Institute, Our students, generally, are indigent. Some 
of the brightest ornaments of the institution are very 
poor, to whom the results of manual labor are every 
way significant. Their presence we welcome. Over 
their success we rejoice. They enter cordially into our 
design. They magnanimously exert themselves for 
our benefit. But 1 silver and gold they have none.' If 
we need pecuniary aid, we must look in some other 
direction for assistance. And in any other direction, 
how few are the names who, in opposition to public 
opinion, have, along with the means, souls large enough 
to lay out their resources for the education of the poor ! 

"2. The advantages of the Institute we offer with 
like cordiality, and on the same conditions, to appli- 
cants from all quarters, and of all complexions. All 
the different colors by which the human family is dis- 
tinguished, are here mingled. Of applicants we de- 
mand, in order to justify ourselves in giving them a 
place here, not whether they are of African, Indian or 
Anglo-Saxon origin ; not whether their hair is straight 
or frizzled ; not whether they are in good odor or in 
ill odor amidst the fopperies and fooleries of fashion ; 
hut whether they are men — living souls — bearing upon 
them the impress of our common Father, distinguished 
by such mental attributes as may open the way for 
happy results, as the fruit of cultivation. The red 
sons of the Western forest, the sable sons of the sunny 
South have here found a home together, and amidst 
their various tasks, manual and mental, have lived in 
peace and love with their pale-faced and blue-eyed 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



191 



brethren. Nor has the one fallen short of the other in 
integrity, enterprise and attainments. We could main- 
tain no other position without violence to our best con- 
victions. Our relations every way to our country ; our 
sympathies with mankind at large ; our obligations to 
high heaven require us to eschew as a heart- withering, 
soul-killing, life-blasting sentiment that 4 respect of per- 
sons,' which opens the lips in flattery of the rich and 
reproach of the poor ; which makes the circumstances 
in which they are found, and not the character they 
maintain, the ground of respect or contempt. In the 
midst of those with whom the cord of caste is a cher- 
ished ornament ; who rather be strangled by it than to 
see it sundered and cast away, what could we expect ? 
Just what we have been called to encounter ; misrepre- 
sentation, reproach, contempt. Under the description 
of l the negro-school^ the Oneida Institute has been held 
up as the proper prey of ravenous beasts and obscene 
birds. Such a variety of changes rung on the simple 
phrase, the negro-school I And on what occasions ! 
And with what results ! Just as if the negro were not 
our own brother, with veins filled with our own mother's 
blood ! Just as if the insulted and oppressed were not 
especially entitled to oar sympathy and aid ! We need 
not describe the embarrassments which have grown out 
of our relations to humanity, thus maintained and 
honored. Why should we blot our paper with a re- 
cord of the taunts, sneers and cavils, for which the 
' negro-school' furnishes an occasion ? — an occasion 
eagerly seized upon in literary and ecclesiastical as well 
as social life, by men of 4 leading influence' in each, to 
give vent to the spleen and spite, which they regard as 
the natural heritage of the negro and all his friends. 



192 



SER3I0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



Hence in part the pecuniary embarrassments we labor 
under.' 7 

Another embarrassment which we have been called 
to encounter, should by no means be forgotten. What 
are usually called among us benevolent designs, are, to 
a great extent, under the management of the clergy. 
They are expected to instruct their people on this sub- 
ject, and to excite them to activity and liberality. If 
pecuniary aid is to be sought, through them especially 
must it be obtained. If they frown on an object, their 
people generally are willing, without much reflection 
or inquiry, it should wither and disappear. Kow, the 
President of the Oneida Institute, by whose move- 
ments it was of course greatly affected, grievously 
offended his clerical brethren. He was known to be 
decidedly and actively in favor of a secession from the 
Presbyterian church in Whitesboro, on grounds on 
which that church was on a level with most other 
churches of the same communion, as well as with a 
great variety of churches of most other denominations. 
A division was effected ; and the occasion described in 
a paper which was published.* In that paper it was 
maintained, that the refusal of a clergyman in this 
country to be the advocate of the American slave, 
especially while denying that slavery was of intrinsic 
necessity a violation of the divine law, was guilty of 
such official negligence and treachery, as required his 
hearers to abandon his ministry. No doctrine, per- 
haps, especially as embodied in practice, could have 
given greater offense to our religious teachers generally. 

* 11 Reply of the Congregational Church in Whitesboro to a Question 
of the Oneida Presbytery." 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



193 



Even those among them who claimed to be abolition- 
ists, with open mouth condemned it. This, they 
thought, was going " too fast and too far." You might, 
with their consent, condemn slavery pointedly and em- 
phatically, as a flagrant violation of every precept in 
the decalogue — as necessarily, intrinsically, obviously a 
sin, most malignant and murderous — at once God-defy- 
ing and man-destroying ; but you must not withdraw 
Christian fellowship, if from those who practise it, 
certainly not from those who, in certain circumstances, 
excuse and justify it. 

And then the Whitesboro Association I* How 
much pains did not clergymen generally in this neigh- 

* The Whitesboro Association was formed in February, 1839. Here 
are its Constitution and Confession of Faith : 

CONSTITUTION. 

Article L This Body shall be called the Whitesboro Association. 

Art. 2. This Body shall consist of such ministers, Congregational 
churches, and laymen, as, receiving the principles of self-government, 
as acted out in Congregational church arrangements, and honoring the 
Christian religion in their faith and practice, may, with mutual under- 
standing and general consent, unite in promoting those objects which 
this Association is designed to subserve. 

Art. 3. The characteristic and essential feature of this Association 
consists in the hearty recognition and strenuous assertion of the prin- 
ciple of self-government, in its application to any and every Christian 
community. It claims no jurisdiction as a Spiritual Court, to which 
any Christian church is to hold itself amenable. Every such church ia 
regarded as competent, under Jesus Christ, to transact, either in a direct 
use of its own powers, or by such assistance as it may choose to em- 
ploy, whatever business it may have to perform ; and in seeking coun- 
sel and aid, it is it3 right and privilege to look wherever it may choose, 
and employ whomsoever it may find, only in the Lord. 

Art. 4. The object of this Association is to further the improve- 
ment and usefulness of its members, and the prosperity of the Christ* 

9 



194 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



borliood take to show their contempt or abhorrence of 
that ! Formed without their advice or consent ! On 
ground already so folly occupied with Presbyterial or 
Associational arrangements ! "Within the sphere of 
their jurisdiction ! And with a lay-element — such, 
too. as implied a contempt of the time-hallowed dis- 
tinction between clergy and laity ! Good men out of 
the pulpit united with good men in it, in discussing 

ian cause. To promote this object, the Association, at its various 
meetings, may occupy itself in discussing questions, examining cases 
of conscience, ascertaining the state of religion, offering counsel, ad- 
monition, and warning, licensing candidates to preach the Gospel, 
ordaining ministers, installing pastors when requested so to do, or oc- 
cupy itself in any other way which may be adapted to build up the 
kingdom of heaven. 

Art. 5. Any member, minister or layman, of any Christian church, 
who receives the fundamental principles of this Association, may be 
eligible to a place among its members. To become a member, he shall 
receive the vote3 of at least two thirds of the Association present at 
any regular meeting. On the same general principles a member may 
be dismissed or excluded. Congregational churches may become mem- 
bers of this body, and shall be permitted to represent themselves at its 
meetings by a delegation of two or three members. 

Art. 6. For the transaction of business there shall be at least five 
members present to form a quorum, of which number at least three 
shall be ordained ministers of the Gospel ; but a less number may 
from time to time adjourn, until a quorum be present. 

Art. 7. Members of other religious bodies, or of any Christian 
church, who may be present at any meeting of this Association, may 
be invited, as corresponding members, to take a part in its deliberations 
and discussions. 

Art. 8. This Association shall meet quarterly, on the first Tuesday 
in January, April, July, and October, respectively, at such time and 
place as may be specified at the meeting next preceding. 

Art. 0. The officers of this Association shall be a Moderator and 
Scribe, to be appointed at each meeting, and a Register, who shall be 
chosen annually, on the first Tuesday in January. 

Art. 10. It shall be the duty of the Register to give public notice 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



195 



and disposing of the most significant matters ! The 
next thing we shall hear of maybe that some John 
Bunyan has joined the tinker's trade to the preachers ; 
now mending kettles, and now explaining texts ! In 
that case, what becomes of the dignity of the clerical 
office ! To whom may ecclesiastical loungers, who, 
however empty may be their skulls, have their pockets 
full of diplomas, look for support ! Grave problems 

of the meetings of this Association, at least two weeks before they are 
to be holden. 

Art. 11. The Register may at any time call a special meeting of 
the Association, at the united request of five members. 

CONFESSION OF FAITH. 

Article 1. We believe there is one God, who is Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, self-existent, eternal, perfectly holy, the Creator and 
rightful Disposer of all things. 

Art. 2. We believe that the Bible is the revealed will of God to 
mankind, and the only unerring rule of faith and practice. 

Art. 3. We believe that mankind are fallen from their original 
rectitude, and are, while in a state of nature, wholly destitute of that 
holiness which is required by the divine law. 

Art. 4. We believe that Jesus Christ the Eternal Word was made 
flesh, or became man, and by his obedience, sufferings, and death, 
made full satisfaction for the sins of the world, and opened a way by 
which all who believe in him, with repentance for sins, will be saved, 
without any impeachment of the divine justice and truth. 

Art. 5. We believe that they, and they only, will be saved, in con- 
sequence of the merits of Christ, who are born of the Spirit, and 
united by a living faith to the Son of God. 

Art. 6. We believe that Baptism and the Lord's Supper are Christ- 
ian ordinances, to be observed permanently by the church. 

Art. 7. We believe in the sanctity and perpetuity of the Sabbath, 
and that the first day of the week is the Christian Sabbath. 

Art. 8. We believe that God has appointed a day in which he will 
judge the world, when there will be a resurrection of the dead, and 
when all the righteous will enter on eternal happiness, and all the 
wicked be condemned to eternal misery. 



196 



SEEMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



these, which, could hardly be proposed without excit- 
ing alarm here, and awakening discussion there ; and 
which, however disposed of, had bearings which might 
affect the condition of many a man among us. The 
active and open part which our instructors in the Onei- 
da Institute took in the formation and support of the 
Whitesboro Association was ill adapted to conciliate 
the favor of our clerical acquaintance. 

The commercial embarrassments of our cc ^ ; 
that is a topic, painfully significant indeed, of v 
however, we need not speak at large in this connection. 
This matter is familiar to every body. The bearing 
of these embarrassments on our pecuniary condition 
and responsibilities was sufficiently harsh and strong. 
Since 1837, we have lost some ten thousand dollars ! 
This sum exceeded all our liabilities. If we could col- 
lect our clues, we could pay our debts. In >ase, 
we might preserve our land and buildings ; and on 
some scale go on with our school operations, extending 
them, as our means of usefulness increased. 

Among the results which have followed our exer- 
tions at the One stitute, it is our privilege to hint 
at the following. 

1. There is no difficulty in obtaining students, and 
students, too, of attractive character and good promise. 
Of the young men of our country, a considerable num- 
ber remain, who can afford the pains and expense of 
keeping a living soul and a good conscience ; who re- 
gard it as nowise disgraceful, but every way honorable, 
while cultivating their minds, to exert their muscles. 
They are under God the hope of their country. If as 
a people we are to be saved from the abyss to which 
selfishness and pride — indolence, extravagance and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



197 



luxury — pampered animalism, are driving us headlong, 
to them especially shall we owe our salvation. Such 
young men, when engaged in study, find themselves at 
home in the manual labor school. Upon their counte- 
nance and assistance it may confidently rely. But 
they are generally, though not exclusively, from the 
haunts of poverty. They have been trained under her 
lean hand ; and from her have derived sub. itial and 
imperishable benefits. To them we can hardly look 
for pecuniary aid. 

2. The variety of complexions by which our stu- 
dents have been marked has not occasioned us, among 
ourselves, the slightest embarrassment. The red man's 
son, the black man's son, and the white man's son have 
here met together ; side by side they have worked, 
side by side they have eaten, side by side they have 
studied ; and all in love and peace and harmony. They 
have felt equally at home, sharing in each other's sym- 
pathies, and contributing to each other's assistance. 
Some gifted colored men have assured us, that no 
where else had they breathed the air of freedom, 

3. With us, colored students, their early advantages 
considered, have been no wise inferior to their pale- 
faced fellows. In some cases, they have been every 
was distinguished for their diligence, fidelity and attain- 
ments. 

4. The influence of manual labor, in restraining the 
passions, and reducing vicious propensities ; in pro- 
moting law-abiding habits, has with us been constant 
and powerful. Cutting bell-ropes ; disfiguring benches ; 
burning ^ut-houses; robbing hen-roosts, gardens, or- 
chards : annoying cattle ; removing gates ; deceiving, 
in : ag and injuring plain and honest laborers ; such 



198 



SERMONS AND DISCOUESES. 



achievements, which in such multiplied forms have so 
prominent a place in the annals of our literary institu- 
tions, have found no place among us. Painful acts of 
discipline we have in very few cases been obliged to 
employ. 

5. The literary attainments which have here been 
made, and the mental discipline which has here been 
acquired, have certainly been highly encouraging, 
amidst the labors and trials to which we have been 
called. For earnestness, diligence and success, our 
students need not shrink from a comparison with those 
who, in different literary institutions, in and out of 
New-England, have fallen within the sphere of our 
acquaintance. We have been repeatedly cheered by 
the testimony of literary gentlemen, not very friendly 
to the Oneida Institute, who have been present with us 
on such occasions as brought our students under the 
public eye. The trains of thought which they have 
arranged and presented have often indicated a degree 
of self-possession — a depth of reflection — a fitness and 
power of expression, which can hardly be looked for 
where the influence of a truly liberal education has not 
been exerted. 

6. Our manual labor operations have generally been 
carried forward from yea? to year, without adding to 
the pecuniary embarrassments of the Institute. What- 
ever results the farm or the workshop yielded, we re- 
garded the students who employed their muscles in the 
one and the other as entitled to. Such a price we gave 
for labor and demanded for board, as left the Institute 
at the end of the year, financially, where it was found 
at the beginning. 

Our students have generally paid for their board by 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



199 



their labor. More than this a few, and less than this a 
few, have done. How easily might not the friends of 
human improvement have furnished such facilities, in 
increasing the extent and productiveness of our man- 
ual labor advantages, as to set our students free from 
the necessities which, with all their efforts, have pressed 
heavily upon them. 

7. Every year has added something to the convic- 
tion of our Instructors at the Oneida Institute, that the 
principles out of which the methods there employed 
grew, are sound and healthful. The application of 
these principles to themselves and to the school, they 
have found every way promotive of their improve- 
ment and welfare. They know not how to describe 
the high estimation they feel constrained to put upon 
the benefits which have thus been conferred upon them. 
The difficulties they have had to contend with have 
been well-nigh exclusively extrinsic to the system they 
have had to act upon. What these have been, may be 
easily inferred from the suggestions already made. The 
reformation they have attempted belongs to a sphere, 
where pride and folly cannot be assailed without pro- 
voking a hostility especially malignant and obstinate. 
They assure us that whatever may be the future con- 
dition of the Oneida Institute, they never can regret 
their connection with it. The part they have been 
called to act ; the exertions they have been enabled to 
make, they cannot but regard as among the most sig- 
nificant parts of their history. The seed-corn they 
have scattered around them, they feel assured will 
yield results, of which they cannot be ashamed. If 
the community they are connected with can persuade 
itself that it has no farther occasion for their labors, 



200 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



they are ready cheerfully to enter on any other field 
of useful activity, which a wise Providence may open. 

Through our connection with the Oneida Institute, 
such lessons as the following have been impressed upon 
us. 

1. In laboring in the way of reformation to promote 
the welfare of mankind, the true heart should be slow 
to place much dependence on an array of names, how- 
ever imposing. The; may indicate, weather-cock-wise, 
the direction of the wind. But it will never do to set 
sail, under the expectation that they will secure for you 
a steady impulse, anywhither. They do not control 
the wind ; the wind controls them. Down the stream 
of public sentiment, no matter in what channel, they 
are sure to move, with a great show of activity and 
power. To resist the current — that requires life, a thing 
weather- cocks were never much distinguished for. 
Look at the names in Weld's Eeport ; the same names, 
where are they now ? Such counsellors and patrons ! 

2. The fidelity with which the true reformer main- 
tains the principles he is bound to honor, is generally 
the occasion on which the half-hearted abandon, re- 
proach and oppose him. He g^>es too fast and too far 
for them. They are for taking advantage of wind and 
tide.* He who for any purpose opposes either, may 
toil and struggle as he can. They will not help him. 
And this has been the true occasion of every form of 
martyrdom, on whatever scale it may have appeared, 
from the crucifixion of Christ, to the embarrassments 
of the Oneida Institute. 

3. For the true reformer, let the standard of success 

* See Pilgrim's Progress, Harpers' Southey's ed. p. 165. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



201 



be fidelity in applying the principles he is set to defend. 
In that the thing consists. The question whether these 
or those results appear is altogether incidental. Visi- 
ble results, what men reckon success, lie out of the 
sphere of his responsibilities. These, let him cheer- 
fully, gratefully leave with Him, in whose name and 
bv whose authority he acts. Every thing in heaven 
and earth, rightly understood, assures him that in due 
season " he shall reap, if he faint not." 

4. It is clearly the duty and the privilege of those 
who approve of the principles upon which the Oneida 
Institute is founded, to give it their countenance and 
support. Could they be persuaded so to do I 

9* 



The condition and prospects of the Oneida Institute, 
at the date of the paper just introduced, may be easily 
inferred from the tenor and spirit of its paragraphs. I 
had expended some ten years in illustrating, applying 
and commending the principles on which it was founded, 
and to which it was adjusted. I regarded them as 
altogether sound, significant and healthful. Their 
claims to a high place among my cherished convic- 
tions, I could not resist. I labored to embody them 
in my history, and to persuade my fellows to accept of 
them as of heavenly origin and divine authority. And 
why, in doing so, might I not hope, that they would 
listen to me patiently and heedfully ? That they would 
yield me a ready sympathy and an effective coope- 
ration ? How many of them had affirmed with start- 
ling emphasis, that something mast be done in the di- 
rection, to which the arrangements and efforts of 
the Oneida Institute steadily looked ! This, they de- 
clared, the general welfare imperatively, loudly — even 
tearfully, demanded. No sacrifices, they seemed to 
intimate, could be fairly reckoned too great, to work a 
radical and comprehensive reformation in the methods 
of education, which so widely and so hurtfully pre- 
vailed. A distinguished name among them, himself a 
prominent figure in the schools, boldly asserted, that 
no change could be proposed which would not justly 
be regarded as an improvement. If I was at liberty to 
regard those who gave free utterance to such decla- 
rations, as sincere and earnest, might I not, in cultivat- 
ing the ground which the Oneida Institute occupied, 
reckon on their smiles and their assistance ? Must I, 
for doing so, accuse myself of rashness and presump- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



203 



tion ? If those, wlio had directly or indirect^ encou- 
raged me to enter on the design which the Institute 
embraced, had been themselves really convinced by 
their own arguments — had been intent on translating 
the words they uttered into corresponding deeds, they 
would have enabled us to go forward in the design of 
imparting a liberal education on just principles, and by 
happy methods ; and to go forward with ever-increas- 
ing facilities, and with higher and higher degrees of 
vigor. In leaving us to retire, after so many struggles, 
from the ground which they had encouraged us to cul- 
tivate, and all for want of the aid which they were well 
able to afford, they laid themselves open to grave sus- 
picions. On my own mind, they left an impression 
equally permanent and painful. 

The result of the trial, imperfect and embarrassed 
as it was, which the Oneida Institute was enabled to 
make, was greatly honorable to the principles on which 
it was established. The experiment was far enough 
from involving a failure. Names enough, such as they 
were, could be found, who were eager with open 
mouths to proclaim it a failure. They might as well 
have applied the proclamation to the divine arrange- 
ments and designs in any other respect. It is one 
thing, surely, for these to fail, and altogether and widely 
another for themselves to fail to avail themselves of the 
substantial benefits thus placed within their reach. To 
this subject, as I retired from the place, which during 
a considerable portion of my life I had occupied at the 
Oneida Institute, I could not help applying myself 
with earnestness, softened by many a tender regret. 
Hence the following train of thought under the title 
of Success. 



SUCCESS 



The word Success — how different is its mea ang in 
the eyes of different interpreters ! One applies it to 
events, in which another sees nothing but disaster and 
defeat. — These stately buildings belong to a college, 
whose history stretches over two centuries. The de- 
sign of the founders was to impart a liberal education ; 
to make provision for the happy development of the 
human powers ; to give to such as might come under 
their control strength and beauty — the power and dig- 
nity of true manliness. I inquire of one, who ought to 
know how to give the right answer : Has success thus 
far crowned the plans and efforts of the founders ? It 
has indeed, he replies. Can you doubt that, amidst 
these grounds and buildings, these books and instru- 
ments ; with professors and students swarming around 
vou? The names on these catalogues — the resources 
of every kind here accumulated ; can stronger proofs 
of success be demanded ? But the name of the scholar, 
the philanthropist, the gentleman ; of the man of strong 
mind, and large attainments, and living spirit, and soul- 
subduing voice ; the name of him, who to preserve a 
good conscience, and a whole heart, and a vigorous 
hand, bravely endured in Europe the frowns of des- 
potic power, from which at length he sought a refuge 
in this young Republic ; that heroic name, why was it 
stricken from the catalogue of those whom you delight 
to honor ? * What an answer from the lips of Suc- 

* See the Life of Charles Follen ; especially from page 340 to page 
346. 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



205 



cess ! Your heroic German ; alas ! he was too hearty 
and upright and brave — he was too much a man — he 
had too much strength of character to hold a place in 
a college which is in so many wa}^s dependent on a self- 
indulgent public ! And so Strength and Bravery and 
Beauty and Wisdom, quickened into heroic life — in the 
form of the far-seeing and deed-doing philosopher— of the 
gentle, noble man, you banished from the sphere where, 
if you are not false to your responsibilities, you are 
laboring to produce in others what in him you spurn ! 
And all this to preserve your brick and mortar ; your 
books and apparatus ; your beef and pudding ; and 
most of all, to keep your place in the husky brains and 
stony hearts of the creatures around you, whom you de- 
spise or abhor ! And this is the example you set be- 
fore those, whom you are to form to a manly character ! 
And this is the condition, you are reduced to ! And 
this you call Success ! 

Another college rises to our view scarcely less im- 
posing, where in like manner the great ends of Educa- 
tion are professedly pursued. Here too human hearts 
are to be nourished — true men are to be formed — a 
sound character is to be acquired. Here the relations, 
duties, privileges and prospects of mankind are to be 
comprehensively and impressively illustrated. Here 
such guidance is to be afforded and such an impulse 
given as may bring men into harmony with heaven- 
established arrangements, wherever in the human fam- 
ily their lot may be cast ; as may qualify them, heart, 
head and hand, to be true brothers among their own 
mothers' children. And here Success too is loudly 
boasted of, and on just such grounds, as have already 
been specified. For here are spacious buildings, and 



206 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



large libraries, and extensive apparatus ; in the hands 
of multiplied professors and students. And yet here a 
youth of good character was flouted, insulted, run upon 
by I know not what number of his fellow-students on 
account of some supposed resemblance to a portion of 
the human family, at which from spite and prejudice 
they tossed up their noses. And was he protected, 
sustained, encouraged by those, who had offered him 
the benefits of a liberal education — the government of 
the college ? Not at all. They gave him to under- 
stand, that they had not the power ; and that he had 
better retire ! And retire he did ; what else could he 
do ? And this is the place where complicated and ex- 
pensive arrangements are maintained to nourish men 
with the milk of human kindness ! To teach them to 
enter with lively sympathy into the wants and woes 
of mankind ! To train them to true manliness ! To 
build up human hearts on the model of Reason, Magna- 
nimity, Generosity ! And this you call Success I The 
government unable to shield human nature from the 
hoofs and tusks of the creatures, to whom it was im- 
parting a liberal education ! If this is success, what 
would you call defeat t 

Take another case. The faculty of a college, known 
by the name of a leading patriot of the Revolution, sent 
not long ago a memorial to the Legislature of a great 
State, describing their grievances and demanding pro- 
tection.* What was the matter ? Why, a number of 
their students, ingenuous, law-abiding youths, had with- 
out their leave prayed the Legislature to exert itself in 

* Memorial of the Faculty of Hamilton College to the Legislature of 
New- York, in 1837. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



207 



accordance with the fundamental principles of Ethics 
and of the Constitution of the Eepublic for the abolition 
of the most deadly evil, with which the nation was 
afflicted. To do this, they had been excited by two 
private letters from a member of the Legislature J 
From such assaults in future, our memorialists respect- 
fully ask for protection ? And so, those, who are to be 
liberally educated — to be trained up to manly activity, 
are to be deprived of rights and privileges, to which 
even the driveling idiot and the blood-stained criminal 
are inalienably entitled ! They may not without of- 
fence, even where their welfare is vitally at stake open 
their lips in the language of petition ! Under the crip- 
pling power and crushing weight of such restraints, 
they are to be fitted to subserve the cause of holy Free- 
dom ! -And then, what absurdities do not these pro- 
fessors rush upon ; asking the Legislature to protect 
them from the private letters of its own members ! Or 
was all this done merely for show and effect ; for the 
sake of a few thousand dollars at the expense of cater- 
ing for a most unmanly prejudice ? And those few- 
thousand dollars, procured by means, which might 
have put Simon Magus to the blush, are to be ascribed 
to the smiles of fortune ! This is what some men call 
Success ! 

But the " schools of the prophets," shall they be 
overlooked ? Two of the oldest have been as success • 
ful as lordly edifices ; tomes of divinity by the cart- 
load, ancient and modern, home-made and imported, new 
school and old school ; and patrons, score upon score, 
who largely give on condition you float passively down- 
stream — could make them. In one of them the Bible 



208 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



is avowedly so interpreted,* as to make an institution 
confessedly opposed even in theory to the fundamental 
principles of the Gospel consistent with a healthful 
church + and a sound character! In the other, the 
same Divine Book is so explained as to justify the 
foulest crime, that ever disgraced and afflicted human 
nature ; a service, for which those, who are habitually 
guilty of the crime regard themselves as under the 
highest obligations ! % 

From such heights of Zion, religious teachers des- 
cend and take positions, here and there, over the face 
of the Kepublic. The doctrines they teach, and the 
influence they exert, may be inferred from facts in the 
history of the leading denominations in the American 
church. That they have been on the whole greatly 
successful in their ministry, they offer to prove by 
counting up the pulpits which they occupy, and the 
disciples whom they have baptized. See, exclaims one 
denomination, are we not heaven-favored ? We have 
more than three hundred and fifty thousand members, 
"all in good and regular standing," the fruit of our 
soul-saving enterprise. And we, cries another, have 
conducted more than half a million — all alive "and 
zealous of the law" of immersion — down the banks of 
Jordan. And when we cry, adds a third, Great is John 

* See Professor Stuart's Letter to Dr. Fiske. 
f Salva fide et salva ecclesia. 

\ " The writer of that article is said, without contradiction, to be 
Professor Hodge, of Princeton. His name ought to be known and 
revered among you, my brethren, for in a land of Anti-slavery men, 
he is the only one, who has dared to vindicate your character from the 
serious charge of living in the habitual transgression of God's holy law.'» 
— Rev. C. W. Howard, in the Southern Christian Sentinel. 



SERMONS AST) DISCOURSES. 



209 



"Wesley, more than seven hundred thousand shout ex- 
ultingly, Amen. Thus exclaim they, all as one, has 
heaven smiled upon our labors and rewarded our fidel- 
ity. Yes, and when in one denomination in General 
Assembly convened, Humanity, bleeding at every pore, 
sought for sympathy and assistance, the door with 
dignified indifference was shut in her face by the reso- 
lution "to take no action on the subject."* In an 
other, while in General Convention no notice was 
taken of a resolution, passed by an Association within*' 
its limits, that since slavery destroyed free agency, and 
often made adultery necessary, adultery in such cases 
was no crime, a stigma was fastened on the few in its 
connection, who had dared to identify themselves with 
enslaved Humanity. And in the third, with its strong 
feelings and its loud amens, it was decreed in General 
Conference, f that the right freely to bear testimon}^ 
before ecclesiastical tribunals should be ravished away 
throughout more than half of this Republic from thou- 
sands upon thousands of its guiltless, unaccused mem- 
bers ! And this out of complaisance to the most hag- 
gard and bloody system of oppression, that the earth 
ever groaned under ! 

The result of all this in the character of the Ameri- 
can churches, generally, is such as might well be ex- 
pected. For the sake of illustration^: let me say, I 
know a man, who a few years ago was warmly wel- 
comed to the pulpit. His instructors and friends re- 
joiced over him as endowed with rare gifts — as a 
teacher of high promise. Pulpit after pulpit was 
thrown open before him ; and at length, at the in- 



* In 1843. 



f In 1840. 



\ Ab una disce omne: 



210 



SERMONS AND DISCCURSES. 



stance of men of the highest standing in the sphere of 
Theology, the place of a teacher there was repeatedly 
offered him. His exertions to qualify himself for the 
widest usefulness were earnest and unremitted. The 
instructions, he publicly imparted were both as to 
matter and form, generally received with marked 
favor. At length a struggle arose, in which the ele- 
mental principles of a sound morality — the character- 
istic features of Christianity were assailed ; and assailed 
by men. who claimed to be philanthropists, patriots, 
Christians. He felt himself impelled both by character 
and position to stand up in defence of things so sacred 
— things, which were to be defended or all must go to 
wreck and ruin. Before he entered on the conflict, he 
looked over the battle-ground with an earnest eye ; 
with the deepest solicitude to know whether he were 
fairly summoned to wrestle there " with principalities 
and powers.' 7 Convinced that he could not otherwise 
hold on to his integrity, he took his position.* And 
there he stands ; chiefly anxious to act the part of an 
honest, earnest man. Now mark : the regard of this 
man for the objects and institutions, to which on enter- 
ing the pulpit he pledged his sacred honor, is in no 
respect diminished. It has become stronger — more 
heart-pervading and effective. All the various forms, 
into which society is naturally organized, ecclesiastical, 
political, commercial, he cherishes so far as any thing 
of soul remains in them, with undiminished attach- 
ment, and labors to uphold and extend with ever-in- 
creasing resolution. No effort, no expense has he ever 

* " It i3 neither safe nor prudent to do aught against conscience. 
Here I stand. I cannot otherwise. God assist me. Amen." — Luther. 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



211 



spared to render himself more and more fit for the 
duties lie was expected to discharge. And yet in the 
religious sphere, where his lot is cast, it is generally 
affirmed that his influence is greatly reduced ; that his 
friends, one after another, have dropped off, leaving 
the smallest number, who can persuade themselves to 
give him confidence, countenance, cooperation; that 
the hopes he once inspired, have all but perished. And 
why ? What evil hath he done ? He has maintained 
both in theory and practice, that our wisdom and 
strength depend wholly on our conformity to the will 
of Heaven ; that it is foul and damning idolatry to 
sacrifice the end to the means — the soul to the body 
— the spirit to the form ; that humanity is the only 
soil where true saintship can take root ; that practice 
is the only proper test of our regard for principle ; that 
where man is trampled under foot there God is des- 
pised ; and that philanthropy is the natural nourishment 
of piety. Now what sort of success has any religious 
community a right to boast of, in which facts like these 
under various forms frequent!}' occur ? 

Let us now for a moment turn to the political sphere. 
As a Republic, we have an extensive territory, a popu- 
lation already numerous and rapidly increasing, and 
large resources. The experiment of self-government 
has here been entered upon ; and in some respects on 
high vantage-ground. And in almost every part of 
the republic, it is the general boast, that the objects of 
our government have been wisely pursued and happily 
achieved. The new world, it is said, has furnished for 
the old decisive evidence, that to the popular will may 
safely be confided all the interests of a great nation. 
I Are we not as intelligent and enterprising, as we are 



212 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



free? And have we not vigilantly maintained the 
freedom which our fishers achieved ? Every scream 
of the American Eagle, what is it but a proclamation 
of success? — But let us look a little more carefulh at 
this matter. In entering on the struggle, which re- 
sulted in their independence, the founders of this re- 
public formally and solemnly defined the principles, by 
which they were to be governed. The natural equal- 
ity of man, as a self-evident truth, they strongly af- 
firmed. To life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, 
they declare, he is inalienably entitled. And in the 
organic law, on which the government is based, they 
proclaim it as their object, "to form a more perfect 
union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, 
provide for the common defence, promote the general 
welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to them- 
selves and their posterity;" an object full of grandeur, 
well worthy of their highest wisdom and best en- 
deavors. For more than half a century, the republic 
has with ever-increasing resources been professedly 
pursuing the objects thus defined; and, we are tuld, 
with success. And every sixth man in the nation 
is A slave ! His life, liberty and happiness are at the 
mercy of all that is capricious and cruel in tyranny the 
most hoary and haggard. A disturbing force is thus 
every where powerfully abroad, to dissolve the Union, 
to trample justice down, to annihilate domestic tran- 
quillity, to break up all arrangements for the common 
defence, to blast the general welfare, and to ravish away 
froi n ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty. 
And for the continuance and increase of this disturbing 
- the government in every department provides 
ith as much solicitude as if it were the heart-pulse of 



SEEMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



213 



the republic* The Legislature stifles the voice of pe- 
tition, if it offers to speak in behalf of the oppressed. 
The Executive with more than blood-hound eagerness 
agility and long-windedness runs after the prey even 
of the foreign man-thief. And the Bench gives the 
benefit of every thinr mcertain, doubtful, inconsistent 
in Law and Eviden the oppressor — to slavery a : 
not to freedom . f 1 1 has cpnae to that, that it is generally 
reckoned an € qualification for ofifice in the na- 

tion, to be in favor oi the most ruthless system of op- 
pression, that ever human tears an blood cemen 
I ie embarrassments proceeding from such a disturb 
force are manifest — are every where felt — are loudly 
complained of — are involving us in endless perplexities 
and exposing us to hopeless ruin. And this is what 
you call success ! 

Now how is all this to be accounted for ? After 
this fashion. There is a natural, heaven-established 
connection between the Visible and the Invisible — be- 
tween Spirit and Form — between Profession and Prac- 
tice. The world with all its sounds and shows is a beau- 
tiful system of symbols, whose significance reaches to the 
loftiest heights — to the profoundest depths of eternity. 
Whatever falls within the scope of our senses — all the 
works of God and all the doings of man, have a mean- 
ing, which lies far below the surface of things. To 
this the objects around us — the things we see and 
handle — constantly and earnestly look. Of this they 
are the natural expression. Thus clasped hands are a 
symbol of united hearts. Union is strength. The 

* See Judge Jay's Views. 

f See the case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, 
between Maryland and Pennsylvania in March, 1842. 



214 SERM0X3 AXD DISCOURSES. 

energies of your will combined with the energies of 
mine — and I am twice a man. My power is doubled. 
Each of us becomes two-fold himself. And every man, 
who gives us his heart and his hand, adds to each of 
us another self, while he increases his energies by the 
addition of ours. Thus a man may become an army 
— a nation — a multitude, which cannot be numbered. 
Thus one may control the resources of many. Thus 
the common cause, which unites them, is strong as its 
adherents are numerous. Hence men, taken up with 
appearances, infer strength from numbers. If a multi- 
tude profess to hold the same aim ; if they clasp hands 
with the mutual assurance, that they will bring all 
their powers and resources into use in pursuing it ; if 
arrangements, extended and imposing, are made,adapted 
to the end proposed, the superficial observer yields at 
once to the impression, that here much has already 
been and more will be, effected. Hither he turns his 
eye as the home of Success. Such, I say, is the im- 
pression of men taken up with appearances. And 
these comprehend a vast majority of mankind. Hence 
the facts in question. But appearances are exceedingly 
deceptive. In the sphere of human activity, falsehood 
every w r here abounds. Confusion prevails. The na- 
tural connection between the symbol and the thing signified 
is to a fearful extent broken up. Intrinsic worth is gene- 
rally ascribed to objects, which derive all their value 
from what lies beyond them. Mere appearances usurp 
the place of substantial realities. The Letter is every 
thing, the Spirit is nothing. Thus seduced, bewitched, 
possessed men, thousands upon thousands, rush into 
the grossest errors — the rankest absurdities. They 
dream that society under different forms and of various 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



215 



denominations may grow up, strong and beautiful, on 
the soil of Atheism and Selfishness ! Hence the way 
in which they employ the word success. 

To apprehend the proper meaning of the word suc- 
cess, we must understand the errand on which man 
was sent hither. That clearly was to form a character 
on the basis of the principles, which are embodied in 
human nature. This is the great end of our existence 
— the business with which we are earnestly and incess- 
ant^ to be occupied. In proportion as, vitally con- 
nected with the living universe, we come into harmony 
with the government of God in our aims, spirit, en- 
deavors, are we successful, whatever may be our sphere 
— whatever our responsibilities. Whatever may be 
our occupation, the formation of character is to be 
our all-engrossing object. From this, we are never for 
a moment to be diverted — never to withdraw our hand. 
And as we become more and more conformed to the 
fundamental laws of our existence ; as Truth, Justice, 
Love acquire over us a control more and more deci- 
sive ; as our character rises in consistency, strength 
and beauty, is our activity crowned with Success. 
Our visible condition, while thus acquiring character, is 
liable to be modified by a thousand circumstances. 
Our appointed lot may place us in the midst of a com- 
munity, where decisive exertions had been made by 
wise and strong men before us. They may have 
" broken up the fallow-ground." The heat and burden 
of the day, they may have borne. It may be our pri- 
vilege " to enter into their labors" just there where the 
visible results are most grateful. The tide, which with 
sinewy arms they have buffeted — which with exhaust- 
ing labors and intense sufferings, they had turned, may 



216 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



bear us aloft in the right direction, triumphantly. 
Now a thousand superficial observers are ready as 
with one voice to proclaim our Success. Or we may 
be called to maintain the claims of Truth, Justice, 
Mercy in the midst of those, who without rebuke had 
long trampled these sacred things under foot. Amidst 
multiplied opposing forces, we may have to enter on a 
hard struggle. We may be derided, traduced, resisted. 
T battle may be hot and long. It may be ours 
to leave our bodies, pierced with a th . and wounds, 
on the field of conflict, to be stripped and spoiled — to 
be trampled on by the fierce war-horse and torn by 
obscene vultures. And your heartless observers may 
describe us as unsuccessful combatants. Alas! just so 
far and no farther their vision reaches. This is all 
they know. 

Unsuccessful combatants ! Milton, you remember, 
describes the position of Abdiel amidst his fellow-angels 
— " an infinite host." Instead of joining them in their 
apostasy, he thundered rebuke in their ears, bolt upon 
bolt. In opposition to the general sentiment — in the 
face of all his compeers, he maintained his integrity. 

" Faithful found 

Among the faithless, faithful only he ; 

Among innumerable false, unmoved, 

Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified, 

His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ; 

Nor number, nor example, with him wrought 

To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind, 

Though single." 

But his exertions to convince his fellows — to wm 
them back to truth and loyalty — how did they result ? 
Did they yield to the force of his arguments ? His 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



217 



pointed appeals drew at last a few around him, to sus- 
tain him in his allegiance to the heavenly throne ? 
No. 

" ■ His zeal 

None seconded, as out of season judged, 
Or singular and ra3h. " 

They would not come to his assistance, even when 
fiercely threatened. They left him alone amidst the 
scorn and derision his fidelity had provoked. 

"From amidst them forth he passed, 
Long way through hostile scorn." 

And so the fervent angel made what our Time-and- 
Space patriots, philosophers and religionists call a fail- 
ure. He lost the argument. He wasted his strength. 
He threw away his ballot. He claimed too much, and 
therefore gained nothing. Nothing ! And are a good 
conscience, and a great heart, and truthful lips, and 
hands clean and strong, are all these nothing, then ? Is 
it nothing, beset with temptations, involved in embar- 
rassments, resisted by formidable foes — is it nothing to 
do one's duty ? And thus enjoy inward peace — and 
acquire fresh strength and beauty — and look abroad 
with increased delight upon a smiling universe ? Wait 
a little, and you shall hear a voice from "the Seat 
Supreme" : 

" Servant of God, well done ; well hast thou fought 
The better fight, who single hast maintained 
Against revolted multitudes the cause 
Of truth." 

To estimate the results of fidelity in this life-battle, 
to which we are all summoned, we must extend our 
views a little. For one man and one generation plays 



218 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



into the hands of another. A city is besieged. A part 
of the assailants throw their wounded bodies into the 
trench, and thus open a way to the object of the con- 
flict before their companions in arms. And thus the 
victory is achieved. How often is not one generation 
indebted to another for the most signal benefits ! And 
can heroic enterprise, high-souled activity, unstained 
integrity be deprived of their reward ? Be main- 
tained in vain ? Eesult in nothing ? Why, these 
things, of all enduring substances are the most impe- 
rishable. Intrinsic worth — that is the stuff they are 
made of — and that remains for ever, Where that is, 
there the purest blessedness must be. " He that doeth 
the will of God abideth forever.' 7 The fruit of the 
Tree of Life he plucks, and wields powers which can 
never be exhausted. He is a good and faithful servant, 
and shall enter into the joys of his Lord. 

The achievements of Luther ! What a theme! In 
what words shall his genius, strength, magnanimity, 
intrepidity, zeal, perseverance be fitly spoken of? 
And the results of his activity — a thing to strike a 
world with astonishment ! The success of Luther was 
decisive — in the view of many, it was sublime. But 
what shall we say of WyclifFe ? What of Huss ? 
What of Jerome of Prague? Will you say that a pre- 
mature death prevented the success of WyclifFe? 
That Huss and Jerome made a failure through the vio- 
lence of their enemies? And so they spent their 
strength in fruitless labors! Without a WyclifFe, 
where had been your Luther? It was the voice of 
WyclifFe, repeated a thousand times and in a thousand 
places long enough after foolish hands had thrown his 
bones upon the dunghill; repeated a thousand times 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



219 



and in a thousand places down to the present moment, 
.and with, ever-increasing weight and authority — it was 
this kingly voice, which under God summoned Luther 
to his work. And at the summons, he arose from the 
ashes of Huss and Jerome. And was not Luther's suc- 
cess the success of his predecessors, who lived anew in 
him ? To a full share in his reward, they are fairly 
entitled ; and that, as God is true, they shall never 
cease to enjoy. 

How generally is not the English Eevolution digni- 
fied with the title glorious ; a revolution, which ban- 
ished from the British throne the Stuart family. The 
introduction of the new dynasty marked, it is affirmed, 
a new epoch in the progress of Freedom. Eights, for 
which at a great expense of blood and treasure the 
people had long struggled, they then got possession of. 
A decisive step was then taken towards the grand con- 
summation, hereafter to be reached, when all men 
shall breathe the air of Freedom. That was a success* 
fid effort, which resulted in the English Eevolution. — 
Now turn your eye back a little. That old man, who 
sits in the door-way of a humble cottage, is not only 
poor but blind. What a manly form ! What a vene- 
rable aspect ! How the sun-beams play upon that 
countenance — a countenance, all intelligence, benignity, 
and beauty ! Such a presence, how attractive and yet 
how awful ! This man, you say, once saw " better 
days." He once sat, reverenced by the wise and the 
strong, at the very summit of human greatness, hold- 
ing aims, making efforts, wielding powers worthy of 
an angel. Now he is reduced, broken, fallen — involved 
in an utter failure. He, who aspired to give laws to 
kings, now owes his life to the mercy of the hangman! 



220 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



This is John Milton! Yes; and to every observer, 
who can distinguish between the work of God and the 
work of the tailor — between a man and his coat, he 
appears just like John Milton. Strength, peace, joy — 
the elements of unbroken greatness — the stuff that liv- 
ing men are made of — how they beam forth through 
that countenance ! And now let me ask, whose arm 
drove the tyrant Stuarts from the throne ? Oh ! I 
dare say, you will answer, that was the achievement 
of the Prince of Orange. "Without a John Milton, 
your Prince of Orange had been quite another man — 
had had quite another destiny ; your glorious Kevolu- 
tion had never found a place on the page of history. 
John Milton made a failure ! Such a failure as gives 
him a place among the benefactors of mankind ! As 
fills his bosom with blessedness, and covers his name 
with glory. 

The heart of Granville Sharpe yearned over op- 
pressed humanity. What compassion, what wisdom, 
what heroism marked his efforts for the slave ! How 
incessant, protracted and untiring were his exertions ! 
Let no man dream, that he died too soon to share in 
the results of the enterprise, to which he devoted arm 
and soul. He was a link, bright and strong, in the 
chain of philanthropy, to which such men as William 
Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson belonged. With- 
out him, the chain had been broken. Without him, 
no victory had been won. Without him, the darkness 
of the First-of- August midnight had not in the West- 
Indies been alive and vocal with the Anthems of Free- 
dom. And if William Wilberforce and Thomas Clark- 
son and Joseph Sturge have been successful, so has 
Granville Sharpe. 



SEKMONS AND DISC0TJKSES. 



221 



But let me call your attention to a far higher object. 
You are now in the presence of the Model Man, who 
was every way and in the highest degree what a man 
ought to be — in whom wisdom, goodness, power, 
reached the utmost limits of possibility. From his 
cradle upward, he was on all occasions equal to him- 
self ; occupied with his mission to the human family. 
"When he entered on his work, all eyes were fixed 
upon him. All arms were open to embrace him. All 
hearts were animated with the highest hopes, that 
great results would follow in his footsteps. But when 
his integrity brought him into collision with earthlings 
at the summit of human society, their malignity nailed 
him to the cross. In that hour, what hopes were 
blasted! What expectations fell withered to the 
ground ! While his enemies exclaimed, u Let him 
come down from the Cross," his heart-stricken friends 
responded : " We thought it had been he who should 
have redeemed Israel." Yes, brethren, in spite of ap- 
pearances, hold fast still to that inspiring thought. To 
the redemption of Israel, his powers have all along 
from first to last been devoted. Head, heart, hands — 
with that work, he has been occupied. Applauded or 
reproached — followed or deserted — worshipped or blas- 
phemed — amidst the activities of life and the sufferings 
of death, with that work he has been occuj)ied. And 
he has done it too. On the Cross it was finished. 
The effort, which his last breath enabled him to make, 
overwhelmed the powers of darkness. Henceforth, his 
brow is clothed with triumph. From the day of Pen- 
tecost to the present hour, every achievement of Truth 
and Holiness increases his reward and augments his 
joy. His Success shall be celebrated by the heavenly 
spheres in everlasting songs. 



222 



SEEMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



As to the influence we may exert on others — on all 
within the sphere of our activity, it must both in kind 
and degree correspond with our character. In what- 
ever work we may engage, it is ourselves that we 
exert. Whatever goes through our mint, must bear 
our " image and superscription." If we are weak, an 
image of weakness ; if strong, of strength must appear. 
Separate effective usefulness from sound character ! 
That thing cannot be done. Man cannot do it and 
God will not. Our influence and our improvement 
must always keep pace with each other. Increase the 
one and you extend the other. For if under God 
whatever we effect depends upon the exertion of our- 
selves, then in proportion as we are something — as 
we have life and power, will the effects be decisive. 
All this is made forever certain by the immutable right- 
eousness of Heaven. 

I know these words are often contradicted. A voice 
is often heard from the high places of society : I am as 
much the friend of Truth and Freedom — as much op- 
posed to treachery and oppression as any man can be ; 
but then, I am occupying a high position — exerting a 
powerful influence. I cannot, therefore, avow my- 
self—cannot stand erect — cannot make bare my arm : 
cannot for instance speak boldly and act decisively for 
the redemption of my enslaved countrymen. I cannot 
oppose what in my conscience I regard as false and 
hurtful without hazarding my usefulness. From such 
a break-neck operation, therefore, I stand carefully 
aloof. An influence, which can neither impel nor re- 
sist — which can neither draw others with you nor drive 
them from you — which leaves you at the mercy of im- 
becility, spite and folly — the sport of every accident — 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



223 



that you call powerful ! A thing to be tenderly cher- 
ished and carefully preserved ! So have I seen on the 
steeple's top a creature, which was raised above every 
other object in the neighborhood. How it glittered in 
the sunbeams, attracting many a curious eye! How 
rapid and decisive often were its movements! To 
every inquirer, how clearly it announced what it was 
its office to unfold ! Surely, it is the king of all the 
winds ; for they always move in the direction to which 
it points its sovereign finger ! The weather-cock is an 
official of high standing, which to preserve its influence, 
carefully adjusts itself to the general sentiment. Let 
the wind blow high or low — rough or smooth, it knows 
how to keep its place and maintain its usefulness. 

But look at the men, who at any time and in any 
place have done most to improve the character and ele- 
vate the condition of mankind. Were they of the wea- 
thercock species — moving always in the direction of the 
wind ? Moses, Isaiah, Paul ; Luther, Milton, Sharpe, 
with their compeers around them, and the Man of Sor- 
rows above them ; were they forever haunted with the 
question, How they should so advance or retreat — so 
avow themselves and so conceal themselves — so humor 
passion, prejudice and folly as to retain their influence, 
and friends ? Not they. They were living men, and 
knew on what errand they had come hither ; and 
whatever might become of the " pottage" for which 
Esau stood agape, it was their "meat to do the will" 
of Heaven. In their existence and activity, all worlds 
and all ages will rejoice forever. 

We of the Oneida Institute have, in the opinion of 
many, been guilty of a failure. Not that the princi- 
ples we adopted were unsound, and therefore imprac- 



224 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ticable and hurtful. Not that we refused to act upon 
the principles we had adopted. But our aims and me- 
thods were in several respects at variance with the 
general sentiment. Manual labor we combined with 
mental cultivation. Some such place we gave to the 
Bible in our course of study as it has in the words 
which the first scholar' 55 ' of his day in Europe thought 
worthy of the Son of Grod. And in admitting stu- 
dents, we inquired not who were their parents, but 
what was their character. And for such offences, the 
professed friends of Learning and Beligion among us 
seem to regard us as having forfeited our natural share 
of the " praise and pudding" they are accustomed to 
bestow. Hence the inference, that we are guilty of a 
failure. But how is that ? We don't deny that we 
have been traduced, derided, opposed. We confess 
that we are called onion-grubbers and the negro-school. 
Fashion has tossed up her pretty nose at us. The 
grim ecclesiastic, as he "passes by on the other side," 
exclaims, with a knowing air, That will never do. 
Sectarianism, with or without canonicals, whether it 
prates about the Apostolical succession, or glories in 
immersion, or boasts of a perfection as pure as the 
dryest sand, or loudly insists on order, order, always 
scowls cross-eyedly at us. It can make nothing of us. 
All who regard the peculiar institution, with its hand- 
cuffs, chains and scourges, as a thing to be endured, 
look on us as a disturbing force among the settled ar- 
rangements of society. And among our professed 
friends, all " who halt between two opinions who are 
inclined to the position of Mr. Facing-both-ways, find 



* John Milton. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



225 



it exceedingly inconvenient to afford us assistance. 
And then some of our debtors, and many of our 
patrons, the Times have pinched, and what we ex- 
pected from their hands may never reach us. And 
how we shall pay our own debts without breaking in 
upon our arrangements, is a question not so easily 
answered. If all this implies a failure, we have doubt- 
less failed. But, if to hold on our way through ten 
years of toil and trial ; and to maintain the principles 
on which we set out with an ever-deepening conviction 
of their weight and worth ; and to do somewhat to- 
wards training up a goodly number of young men, of 
different complexions, for stations of usefulness ; and 
to find ourselves, amidst our studies and labors, borne 
constantly onward to higher degrees of improvement, 
inward harmony and self-possession ; if in these things 
the elements of Success are to be recognized, then have 
we, under God, been successful. What we have done 
remains for the benefit of the great cause of Education. 
The future we commit to the wisdom of Heaven. 

I would if I might impress the leading thoughts in 
this discourse on all who hear me, and especially on 
the members of this School. " Judge not according to 
appearances." Let yours be a " righteous judgment." 
The secret of success lies in strength of character. 
Where this is wanting, that can never be attained. 

" Enweri tells us, a most royal man, 
The deepest heart and highest head to scan : 
At every time, in every place, our surest chance, 
Lies in Decision, Justice, Tolerance."* 



* Goethe. 

10* 



226 



SERMONS JlND DISCOURSES. 



" Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, 
unmovable, ahoays abounding in the work of the Lord, 
forasmuch as ye know your work IS NOT IN VAIN in (he 
Lord." In vain it cannot be. Make character, then, 
your aim and object. 1 'All other things shall be 
added." 

While you "labor, learn to wait.' 7 

"In due season," a ripened harvest, rich and beauti- 
ful, shall wave around you. 



The following paragraphs from the Life of Dr. Follen 
are referred to on pages 204 and 205. 

" It was during the summer of 1833, that Dr. Follen 
turned his attention very earnestly to the writings 
and doings of the Anti-Slavery Society that had then 
been in existence only one year. Mrs. Childs' Appeal, 
which he had read while we were at Dr. Channing s, 
produced a powerful effect upon his mind, and some 
weeks after we returned to Cambridge, he said, one 
evening, after he had been meditating some time : * I 
am thinking of joining the Anti-Slavery Society ; 
what do you think of it ?' 1 That you ought to follow 
the light of your own mind,' I replied ; 1 why should 
you hesitate V 1 I know that it will be greatly in the 
way of my worldly interests.' c Very like,' I said. 1 1 
feel,' he replied, 1 as if I ought to join them, 5 1 Then 
why not do it ?' 4 It is a serious thing to relinquish 
my worldly prospects altogether ; if I join the Anti- 
Slavery Society, I shall certainly lose all chance of a 
permanent place in College, or perhaps any where else. 
If it were only for myself, I should not be troubled 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



227 



about it, but to involve you and Charles in the evils of 
real poverty, I shrink from that.' 1 You have/ I said, 
\ sacrificed your country, your home, and all that makes 
home dear, for the sake of freedom and humanity ; do 
not think that we are not able and worthy to make the 
slight sacrifice which we may be called upon to make 
in this cause.' He joined the Society, and he did so 
from a devout sense of duty, and after a solemn and 
prayerful consideration of every objection to so doing. 
He knew that there were evils belonging to all associa- 
tions ; he never vindicated or approved of abusive lan- 
guage in the Abolitionists, any more than in their 
opposers ; his nature was as gentle as it was uncom- 
promising ; but when a young friend raised this objec- 
tion to joining the Anti-Slavery Society, he replied to 
him : 1 I did not feel at liberty to stand aloof from a 
Society whose only object was the abolition of slavery.' " 

"At the meeting of the Convention of the American 
Anti-Slavery Society in January, 1834, Dr. Follen was 
chosen Chairman of a Committee to draft an address to 
the people of the United States upon the subject of 
slavery. The spirit and style of this address extorted 
praise even from the enemies of the cause. Copies 
of it were sent to all the Members of Congress, and to 
all the men of distinction at the South. One copy 
alone, from this large number, was returned to Dr. 
Follen, with some insulting words written on the mar- 
gins upon the subject of foreigners throwing firebrands, 
and other stereotyped remarks of the same sort. About 
this time a very gross attack was made upon him in 
one of the Boston papers : and lest he should not him- 
self know of it, the paper was sent to him, with the 



228 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



offensive paragraph marked for his particular notice. 
' This cannot touch me,' he said, as he calmly read it, 
1 it is too vulgar. 7 It was in the course of this year 
that he assisted in the formation of an Anti-Slavery 
Society in Cambridge." 



u Dr Follen received repeated warnings that his in- 
terests in the College would be materially injured by 
his devotion to this hated cause. He was told that 
Anti-slavery would never be tolerated in Harvard Uni- 
versity ; but he did not on that account think it right, 
neither did he feel disposed to desert a cause which he 
thought of more importance than all others, and in 
comparison with which the interests of any individual 
were a petty concern. 1 The question,' he said, ' is 
whether this is my duty ; what will be the conse- 
quences, is a secondary matter.' His nature, however, 
was so hopeful that he always believed while he could, 
that the right would prevail ; and he would not and 
did not relinquish the persuasion that his devotion to 
the cause of Freedom would be forgiven, and that the 
College would yet retain him in its service. He never 
allowed his devotion to the Anti-Slavery cause to in- 
terfere with any of his duties in College ; on the con- 
trary, the fear that it might, made him, if possible, 
more scrupulous than ever in the performance of them 
all. Of this there is the most ample testimony." 



" The question was asked, [that is, whether the cor- 
poration intended to continue his professorship,] and 
the answer was, that the corporation did not think it 
expedient ; and no other arrangement was proposed 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



229 



by wliicli he could be retained in the University. After 
ten years of faithful service in the College, he was left 
with five hundred dollars a year as teacher of the Ger- 
man Language, if he chose to remain at Cambridge. 
This was of course an inadequate support for himself 
and family, and obliged him to seek employment else- 
where. He felt that this was intended." 



While connected with the Oneida Institute, I exerted 
myself earnestly and actively for the organization of a 
Congregational Church and Society in Whitesboro'. 
The new pulpit which was here opened, I was invited 
to occupy. For a number of years I here addressed, 
statedly and frequently, considerable congregations. 
A majority of the members of the new organization 
had been connected with the Presbyterian church in 
this village. They had no occasion for surprise when 
they received from the Oneida Presbytery a request, 
that they would " furnish to the Presbytery the rea- 
sons," which led them to organize, as they had done, 
the Church to which they now gave their countenance 
and support. In the name of those upon whom this 
request was urged, I wrote a Reply, which was prompt- 
ly offered and speedily published. It may be well to 
insert it in this place, on account both of its intrinsic 
significance and historical bearings. 



REPLY TO PRESBYTERY. 



The cause of human freedom has furnished, for dif- 
ferent ages and countries, the test question, by which., 
under various forms, the character of men has been 
tried and brought out to light. At one time, and 
among our own ancestors, while it was generally ad- 
mitted, that human authority must be submitted to in 
matters of religion, it became the test question whether 
a foreign power could lawfully wield that authorit\~. 
At another, the great question was, whether the Bible, 
independent of legislative enactments and ecclesiastical 
arrangements, was for faith and practice a sufficient 
guide. Again, the spirits of men were tried and their 
course determined, by the question — and a fearful test 
it was — whether a government could lawfully demand 
support where it violated the inalienable right of repre- 
sentation. 

What, in this country, may now be the test ques- 
tion, by which the character of our fellow-citizens and 
fellow-Christians is to be judged of, cannot but be fami- 
liar to the thoughts of every observant and reflective 
mind. It is clearly this: " Whether the principle 

OF HUMAN EQUALITY SHALL BE CARRIED OUT IX THE 
ABOLITION OF SLAVERY — OR WHETHER IX OPPOSI- 
TION TO THIS PRINCIPLE, THE FREE SHALL BE EN- 
SLAVED." This is the question which every man, 
woman, and child, in this republic, is now required 
to consider, examine, and decide. And here all are 
brought to a test through which a strong and clear 
light must be shed upon their character. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



231 



To avoid misapprehension and dispute, we will, in 
few words and some respects, explain what we mean 
by the bearing of a test question upon human charac- 
ter. We admit, that one may take the right side of 
such a question, so far as profession and visible action 
are concerned, without furnishing, in doing so, decisive 
proof that his character is sound and good. The test 
of a "standing or a falling church," has sometimes been 
held to be the doctrine of gratuitous salvation. In the 
controversy of Luther with the Pope, on this subject, 
doubtless many took sides with the reformer, whose 
hearts after all were not right with God. Multitudes 
are able and earnest advocates of the doctrine of atone- 
ment by the blood of Christ, who never felt the cleans- 
ing efficacy of his blood. But while all this is to be 
admitted, can it be denied, that such as take the wrong 
side of such questions, give evidence, that their charac- 
ter is radically defective ? Bad men might say with 
Luther, "By grace the elect are saved;" but could 
good men reject this doctrine? If bad men may ad- 
mit, can good men deny', the sovereign efficacy of the 
blood of redemption ? So we admit, that among those 
who are aiming and endeavoring to carry out the doc- 
trine of human equality in the abolition of slavery, 
men may be found who are neither sound patriots nor 
true Christians. Wrong motives may have brought 
them to the side of the friends of holy freedom. But 
what must be said of those who practise, or justify, or 
excuse American slavery ? 

When we affirm, that we find here the test question 
of this age and country, we only give voice to the 
general sentiment. To this they agree who exert a 
ieading influence in politics among us. In everv part 



232 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



of our country, and on the most important occasions, 
and in the most practical way } it is admitted, nay, as- 
serted, that the decision of the question of slavery, has 
a vital bearing on the union of the confederated States. 
If decided in one way, the greatest statesmen of the 
North — if decided in another, the most active politi- 
cians of the South — declare the republic broken and 
dissolved. In one part of our country, the advocate 
of slavery is looked upon as hostile to the general 
welfare; in another, an abolitionist is treated as an 
outlaw. 

Among the leading ecclesiastical influences in this 
country, moreover, the same question has a like prom- 
inence and importance. In one place, the belief, that 
slavery is inherently and essentially sinful, carried out 
in practice, is treated as the worst of heresies, worthy 
of the heaviest censures and penalties ; in another, the 
advocate of slavery is excluded from the pulpit and 
the communion-table. "What other question has such 
extensive, multiplied and powerful bearings ? 

In our political and ecclesiastical relations, this ques- 
tion, with its various bearings, has been put to us by 
an authority which we could not despise, and with an 
urgency which we could not resist. When first called 
to make a decision, we belonged to the Presbyterian 
Church in this village, of which many of us* had long 
been members, and some of us omcers.f Our deepest 
convictions and best feelings constrained us openly and 

* Seventy-one. 

f The Session consisted of nine members, exclusive of the pastor. 
Of these, six entered into the organization of the Congregational Church, 
namolv : Luther Holbrook, Samuel Camp, David Foster, Pelatiah Raw- 
son, Thomas Beebe, and William K. Tibbitts. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



233 



earnestly to take the ground of immediate emancipa- 
tion. In doing so, we were happy to find ourselves 
by the side of our then pastor, Kev. Ira Pettibone. 
We soon perceived, that our brethren who on this sub- 
ject had other views and feelings, regarded the ques- 
tion which we had thus decided, as a test question. 
They felt themselves at liberty to exert an influence 
and to employ measures, which issued speedily in his 
dismission. No careful and candid observer could, we 
think, fail to see, that the deficiency in his salary, 
which was the ostensible cause of his leaving us, had 
its source in the anti-abolitionism which many of the 
wealthy members of the Church and society openly 
avowed. 

When the question of inviting Eev. David L. Ogden, 
the present pastor of the same church, to occupy the 
pulpit, was decided, we do not deny, that as a general 
thing we voted in the affirmative. We had our fears, 
it is true ; but we hoped for the best. We persuaded 
ourselves, that it might not be improbable, that with the 
ever-increasing light which was shed upon our relations 
to the enslaved, he might be led to become their advo- 
cate. The grounds of this persuasion, we did not suf- 
ficiently examine. We acted hastily. We presumed 
too much. In such a day, and on such a question, we 
own, we ought to have taken nothing for granted. 
We erred, greatly erred, in not demanding in the out- 
set, in a pastor, an open and pledged advocate of our 
enslaved brethren. This we confess and deplore. 
And with this confession on our lips, we warn others 
to beware of like rashness and folly. 

Not long after the settlement of our new pastor, we 
began to smart under" the effects of our own timidity and 



234 



SERU0XS AXD DISCOURSES. 



precipitation. TTe as deeply felt, as we plainly saw, 
that what our brethren had treated as a test question 
in dismissing one pastor, our consciences required us 
to regard as a test question in respect to the support of 
another. Yv r e understood our pastor publicly to say, 
that slavery was not in itself- — in all cases, and in its 
own nature — a sin ; that the people of his charge had 
no such share in the responsibility of continuing or 
abolishing it, as would lay them open to a just con- 
sciousness of guilt, however the wickedness of slavery 
might be clearly shown and strongly proved; and 
that, as far as his influence went, this subject, as an 
officious and hurtful intermeddling with other people's 
business, should be shut out of the pulpit. We had, 
moreover, the mortification and pain to see resolute 
and active abolitionists among us reproached, traduced 
and persecuted, as we thought, for maintaining our 
own principles. Expedients were employed and mea- 
sures pursued, to make them odious and infamous. 
Nay, we understood ourselves to be called upon to re- 
nounce and condemn them for doing what we approved 
— what had contributed to strengthen our best convic- 
tions and nourish our best affections I* Thus was the 
test question of our age and country brought directly 
home to our inmost hearts. What, in such circum- 
stances, should we have done ? 

As our pastor had made an open declaration of his 
views and designs, how could we support his ministry 
without being sharers in his resjDonsibilities ? In his 

* We refer to the attack upon the Oneida Institute, and the process 
subsequently had before the Session of the Presbyterian Church in 
AVhitesboro. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



235 



mind, publicly expressed, slavery was not a sin in all 
cases. The relation of owner to property, one man 
might sustain to another, innocently and usefully. It 
might be abused, and thus become the occasion of wick- 
edness. The abuses of slavery, not slavery itself, were 
to be condemned, as a violation of the law of God. 
Thus, the principle that man cannot be reduced to a 
chattel, cannot be held and treated as such, without 
sin, was rejected. With the denial of this principle, 
the heaven-made distinction between men and things 
at once disappears. The image of God may be dis- 
posed of as a marketable commodity ; the purchase of 
the Saviour's blood may be bought and sold; those 
upon whom the Spirit breathes may be knocked off at 
auction; and, provided no abuse of the relation thus 
entered upon be committed, all will be well — God is 
not displeased, nor is man injured. We saw plainly 
that slavery could not need a broader basis than such 
doctrines, maintained and established, would lay — a 
foundation in which markets for men, women, and 
children, of every complexion, might be indefinitely 
multiplied, throughout the wide world ! If we could 
support a ministry, which openly rejected the great 
principle of human equality — which decried earnest 
efforts to carry out this principle in the abolition of 
slavery — which could deny the inherent, essential guilt 
of holding men, in any circumstances, as articles of 
merchandise — should we not have deserved, ourselves, 
to become the victims of our own selfishness and trea- 
chery ? — to have our hold broken upon our own in- 
alienable rights and birthright privileges ? 

Could we, moreover, admit " the flattering unction 
to our souls," though offered by a pastor's hand, that 



236 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



we, as American citizens and American Christians, had 
no responsibility for the continuance of such an insti- 
tution as slavery ? We knew that this was a national 
concern; and that we, however few and obscure our 
names, were a vital and integral part of the nation. 
We knew that slavery was tolerated in the Presbyte- 
rian Church ; and to the Presbyterian Church we be- 
longed, and had a share in shaping its counsels and 
accomplishing its designs. Were there none, in the 
very presence of our pastor, who had been personally 
engaged in buying and selling their fellow-men ? With 
such relations, and in such circumstances, could we 
support a ministry which had dared to absolve us from 
guilt, where our consciences charged us with guilt? 
We could not but know assuredly, that we had fearful 
responsibilities in the matter, which our pastor held 
up as none of our business. Could we listen to his 
voice without stifling our own consciences and turning 
a deaf ear to the word of God ? We put the inquiry 
solemnly to you, brethren, whether we could have 
supported such a ministry without running into tempt- 
ation ? 

And then, on this momentous topic, whether our 
views and sentiments were right or wrong, we were to 
expect no instruction from the pulpit. Our pastor had 
assured us, that it could have no place among the mat- 
ters which were there to be stated, examined, discussed 
and applied. And yet we knew, that this very subject 
had a prominent place on the pages of the Bible; that 
it was agitating the nation from centre to circumfer- 
ence, and took fast hold of the vitals of the Church ; 
nay, that it was an engrossing topic in politics and re- 
ligion throughout the Christian world. As men among 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



237 



men, and as Christians among Christians, we were sure, 
that we had a place to fill and a task to perform. We 
needed the influence of the pulpit, to enlighten, and 
quicken, and sustain, and cheer us, amidst the labors 
of love for which Heaven demanded the vigorous appli- 
cation of our best powers, promptly and unweariedly. 
But what could we expect from a pulpit, which had 
pledged itself to silence, where the highest interests of 
bleeding humanity were at stake, but an influence 
adapted to blind, and neutralize, and benumb ? Christ- 
ian brethren, we solemnly demand, what could we 
expect ? 

And then, how could we support a ministry, which 
had enlisted in what we regarded as an open war 
against earnest, active abolitionists among us? We 
now refer particularly to the attack which, it is well 
known, was publicly made upon the Oneida Institute, 
and to the pains which were taken and the expedients 
which were employed, to defame and destroy it — and, 
as we could not help seeing, chiefly, if not solely, on 
account of the position which that Institution, and es- 
pecially the President, had maintained on the subject 
of human freedom. The shifts which were resorted 
to, to fasten reproach and contempt upon such prin- 
ciples and measures as we had felt constrained to adopt 
and maintain, sickened us. How could we commit 
ourselves and our children to the guidance of a pastor 
who could justify and vindicate an attack virtually 
upon ourselves, for trying to honor in our practice the 
principles of the Bible ? 

Could we, dear brethren, in our circumstances, have 
kept a good conscience, without trying to escape from 
the temptations and perils to which we were exposed ? 



238 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES, 



The principles which with us were fundamental in 
morality and religion, the pulpit had declared war 
upon. How could we support such a pulpit, without 
renouncing our principles? We had been taught to 
pray : " Lead us not into temptation." How then could 
we expose ourselves to the noxious influences which 
we had the strongest reasons to expect would be brought 
to bear upon us ? The effect of making compromises, 
where principle was at stake, we have seen in others. 
We have seen their regard for crushed humanity fretted 
and frittered away, till their hearts, once alive to the 
claims of their enslaved brethren, have grown cold 
and dead. 

When we obtained letters of dismission from the 
Presbyterian Church, for the sake of forming a new 
one, we do not deny that we expected to enter into a 
Church of the same name and order. We understood 
our pastor to admit, that all things considered, the step 
we proposed was not undesirable ; that for those who 
might leave, and especially for those who should re- 
main, the separation might be beneficial. In the way 
of the arrangement we were intent upon, he thought 
no obstacle would be thrown by the Presbytery, and 
offered, in case any difficulty should arise, to plead for 
and assist us. 

After we had entered upon arrangements for public 
worship, and before church relations had been estab- 
lished, we saw occasion to expect embarrassment and 
opposition in the Presbytery, if we should there ask 
assistance in forming the church we desired to see or- 
ganized. We dreaded the protracted and fruitless 
controversy which thus threatened us, and resolved to 
avoid it, if we could consistently with a good conscience 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



239 



and an unsullied reputation. We were led to inquiry. 
Some of our number had long had a decided prefer- 
.ence for Congregationalism. This they openly ex- 
pressed. We examined its claims to our regard, and 
came to the conclusion, that it was the mode of church 
organization which, as best suited to the genius of 
Christianity, we ought to adopt. Acting on this per- 
suasion, we took such steps as conducted us to the 
position where you now find us. A hint or two may 
shed some light upon the course which we thus pur- 
sued. 

1. The principle of self-government — the proper basis 
of all good political and ecclesiastical organizations — 
we saw justly applied and happily carried out in Con- 
gregational arrangements. The size and character of 
Christian Churches generally, favored the admission 
of this principle in full force and free exercise. They 
were not so large as to be gross and unwieldy. They 
had sufficient integrity and intelligence to be safely 
intrusted with their own affairs. We saw no occasion 
for the superintendence and interference of spiritual 
courts, rising one above another, and all above the 
churches. The more extensively and thoroughly the 
responsibilities and exertions involved in self-govern- 
ment could be diffused throughout a Christian commu- 
nity, the better, in all respects, must its welfare be pro- 
vided for. 

2. We were greatly confirmed in such conclusions, 
by the history of the churches in New-England. 
Where else could we look for sounder character, 
loftier enterprise, warmer zeal, or greater activity ? 
And where else had the principle of self-government 
been carried out, in its various applications, more 



240 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



faithfully and fully ? Where could we find stronger 
proofs of vigor and usefulness, than Congregational 
churches in New - Hampshire, Massachusetts, and 
Maine, afforded? And would their peace and pros- 
perity be promoted by such restraints and impositions 
as Presbyterianism involves ? 

3. This inquiry derived, in our view, moreover, 
great force from the present attitude and aspect of 
things in the Presbyterian Church. There we saw 
mutual distrust and reproach opening the door more 
and more widely for the admission of every evil which 
dissension and distraction can inflict. Large portions 
of the/body ecclesiastic, we saw cutting off other large 
portions — until it became a question, to be settled by 
" brother going to law with brother," where the high- 
est spiritual court in the Church could be found — who 
were entitled to wield its prerogatives, and who was 
bound by its decisions ! Could peace be here enjoyed, 
or edification expected ? 

4. To this we add, that while connected with the 
Presbyterian Church, we had been taught to give the 
hand of fellowship, freely and promptly, to our Con- 
gregational brethren. Their ministers we had seen in 
our pulpits, and our ministers in theirs. We could 
not regard ourselves as forfeiting the esteem and con- 
fidence of those with whom we had been ecclesiasti- 
cally connected, by becoming Congregationalists. 

Such, brethren, are the reasons we have to give, in 
answer to the inquiry you propose. If we were to 
go into extended and minute detail, describing the 
views and feelings of the members of this Church indi- 
vidually, on the matter in question, other things would 
doubtless be added. Enough, however, has been sug- 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



241 



gested, to explain and justify the course we have pur- 
sued. 

And now, dear brethren, we would meekly yet ear- 
nest!)'' inquire of you, whether the American slave has 
not the strongest claims upon the sympathy and aid of 
the American Churches? Whether the ministers of 
the Gospel are not bound by their commission, to be 
his hearty, active advocates ? Whether, if they refuse 
to plead his cause and toil for his deliverance, they do 
not forfeit the confidence of their fellow-citizens and 
fellow-Christians? Whether those who feel the be- 
numbing effects of the official negligence and treachery 
of such a minister, ought not, if unable to persuade 
him u to open his mouth for the dumb,"* to abandon 
his ministry? And whether, in their circumstances, 
the Congregational Church in Wliitesboro ought not, 
as they have done, to set up a standard in the name of 
the Lord, and " contend earnestly for the faith once 
delivered to the saints" ? 



The Discourse which next follows I cannot persuade 
myself to omit. Its bearing on the objects of this 
volume is strong and obvious. The occasion on which 
it was delivered is sufficiently explained in the brief 
address preceding it, to the Congregational Church, for 
whose especial benefit it was preached and published, 
as well as by the tenor, import and spirit of its para- 
graphs. I commend it to the earnest attention of any 
who may have heard that I was opposed to " Revivals 
of Religion. 7 1 

* Prov. 31 : 8, 9. 

11 



To the Congregational Church, Whitesboro : 

Dear Brethren : When during the late protracted 
meeting in this village, I saw you tempted and ex- 
posed — especially by some, who, in contempt of the 
principles they had professed to honor, lent their coun- 
tenance and cooperation to the special church-going 
and church-increasing activity of a community, which 
has all along sto6d aloof from you in your exertions to 
promote, in the face of derision and reproach, the cause 
of a sound morality and a pure religion, I felt impelled 
to lift up the voice of warning. That voice it is the 
object of these pages to repeat and prolong. It is high 
time that a Christianity, falsely so called, which re- 
fuses to come to the rescue of the earthling, the drunk- 
ard, the slave, the respecter of persons, the dupe and 
the victim of popular prejudice, the votary of a say- 
and-do-not philanthropy, were understood that it might 
be abhorred. While such nuisances are endured, we 
must be exposed to an infected atmosphere. " It is 
time for thee, Lord, to work : for they have made void 
thy law." Let us never, dear brethren, forget that " he 
who endureth unto the end," alone shall be saved. 

Yours in the Saviour, affectionately, 

B. Green. 

Whitesboro^ Feb. 1841. 



INIQUITY AND A MEETING. 



" Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom ; give ear unto the 
law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the mul- 
titude of your sacrifices unto me ? saith the Lord : I am full of the 
burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; and I delight not in 
the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to 
appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my 
courts ? Bring no more vain oblations ; incense is an abomination unto 
me ; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot 
away with ; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons 
and your appointed feasts my soul hateth : they are a trouble unto me ; 
I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I 
will hide mine eyes from you ; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will 
not hear : your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean : 
put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; cease to do 
evil; learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge 
the fatherless, plead for the widow." — Isaiah 1 : 10-17. 

The prophet so describes and so exhorts the reli- 
gionists here addressed, as to give us a clue to their 
character. They were just fit to be. ranked with the 
men of Sodom. And how they were to be regarded, 
we may learn of Ezekiel.* " Behold," he exclaims, 
"this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, 
fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her 
and her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand 
of the poor and needy." Idlers they were, inflated 
with pride, and bloated with luxury ; playing the 
tyrant among the helpless and friendless. That this 
was the character of the creatures Isaiah had to deal 
with, the exhortation shows, in which their duty is set 



* Ezekiel 16 : 49. 



244 SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 

forth. If they would put away the evil of their doings, 
and thus find access to the Mercy-Seat, they must 11 seek 
judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, 
plead for the widow.'' The condition and claims of 
the "poor and needy," they must earnestly study: 
and take part with the weak against the strong — with 
the oppressed against the oppressor. 

Very different was the position which these religion- 
ists at present held. Their zeal for God was consistent 
with contempt for man. With them the positive of 
religion was every thing ; the moral, nothing. In 
meeting-holding, psalm -singing, prayer-making, they 
were active and noisy enough. In these things they 
were all stir and smoke. The calling of assemblies, 
the solemn meetings, the appointed feasts they multi- 
plied even to the wearying of Jehovah. Iniquit}^ and 
a meeting,* he could not away with. He loathed their 
services. TTe are thus taught, that A meeting-hold- 
ing ACTIVITY, UNDER THE PRETENSE OF A REGARD FOR 
HUMAN SALVATION, ACCOMPANIED BY A DISREGARD 
FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, IS AN ABOMINATION TO JEHOVAH. 

For, 

L It implies rank absurdity and a flagrant contradic- 
tion. — In the constitution of man, the rights of man 
are involved. The attributes, the powers and capaci- 
ties here found, are God-given endowments. These 
gifts imply fearful responsibilities. They are a sacred 
trust, for which an account must be rendered. All 
this supposes the right to wield our powers and use our 
capacities, according to our constitution — firmly to hold 

* 14 Ich mag nicht Frevel und Feste." — Gesenius, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



245 



and freely to pursue the end of our existence. What- 
ever interferes with us here, injures us vitally. Health, 
vigor, useful activity are at once impaired. If our 
right to be what our Creator designed us to be, and to 
do what he requires us to do, is invaded, wrong and 
wretchedness must ensue. And this wretchedness 
must be deep, and this wrong flagrant in the same de- 
gree as the invasion of such rights is far-reaching, vio- 
lent and determined. Our salvation, of course, de- 
pends upon the full enjoyment of those rights, to 
which, under God, we are constitutionally and inalien- 
ably entitled. These can be enjoyed only in the free 
discharge of those duties, which the rights imply. To em- 
ploy our powers and capacities in a course of law- 
abiding activity, without let or hindrance, is the right 
of all rights, to which, both individually and socially, 
we are entitled. If we are assailed here, whether by 
inward passion or outward violence, our salvation is 
put to hazard. If the assault be successful, our very 
hearts are stabbed. If we are free here — free from the 
dominance of passion within and without — our own 
passions and other people's — free to discharge the Hea- 
ven-appointed duties, which our rights imply, which 
correspond with them and grow out of them, then are 
we among the saved. Then salvation sheds its light and 
pours its songs around. 

The invasion of human rights is an assault upon hu- 
man salvation. The oppressor is a destroyer. The 
constitution of man — the powers, prerogatives and 
prospects of man — his present peace, and his eternal 
welfare, he sets at naught and tramples under foot. 
Whatever may be his condition, and whatever his pre- 
tensions, this is his work. Whether he devour widows' 



246 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



houses, or defraud the hireling of his wages, or hold in 
slavery the victims of legalized tyranny, he wages war 
with human salvation. He interferes with the dis- 
charge of Heaven-appointed duties, and does what he 
can to dry up the fountain of blessedness, which from 
the heart of these duties sends forth, pure and spark- 
ling, its living waters. His success must be a triumph 
over human salvation. 

To apologize for oppression, under any of its varied 
forms, is to lend ourselves to the work of human de- 
struction. A professed Christian, a religious teacher, 
even, may permit errors, rank as dunghill weeds, to 
take root within him ; the condition and the claims of 
the oppressed he may stupidly refuse to study ; the 
crudest, falsest things he may put forth to stifle what- 
ever of generous indignation or manly effort the rav- 
ages of tyranny may have provoked ; he may deny to 
the oppressed their inalienable right to sympathy and 
assistance in the house of prayer ; he may lend himself 
to revile, and reproach, and traduce the friends of holy 
Freedom ; he may even make his religious profession, 
or his high station, the occasion and the shield of his 
neglect of the claims of outraged humanity ; but this 
he cannot do without inflicting deadly blows. He 
sets himself against that in which salvation consists. 
He breathes a spirit directly and vitally hostile to hu- 
man welfare. Just so far as he has influence and 
power, just so far salvation bleeds and dies. 

Now, what is it for such an one to put on the ap- 
pearance of zeal and activity in the work of soul-sav- 
ing ? He affects to lament the depravity and wretch- 
edness of his fellow-men. With a long face, and in 
solemn tones, he discourses about their condition and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



247 



prospects. He calls for special efforts for their benefit. 
He girds up liis loins as if he were a-going to do some- 
thing. Coadjutors he enlists. And now what a scene 
of activity opens upon us. Assemblies are called. 
Meetings are held. Heaven and earth are invoked. 
What a stir ! What expedients ! What an agitation 
of the surface of the general sentiment ! With what 
pretensions is the ear of simplicity and honesty 
wounded ! " Sea and land are compassed to make 
proselytes." And they are made; drawn together, 
reckoned up and gloried over. Proselytes ! To what ? 
To saintship without humanity ! To saintship, which 
refuses to plead the cause of the victims of prejudice 
and oppression ! To saintship, which contributes more 
than every thing else to the protection and growth of 
the worst forms of rebellion against God, and injury 
to man ! Alas ! what have we here ? What ; the 
very same vision as pained the eye of Isaiah, the son 
of Amos. What absurdities ! A cold and cruel dis- 
regard of human rights, kindling up without losing a 
jot of its malignity into a fervent regard for human 
salvation ! Invitations to the weary, on lips laden witb 
apologies for slavery ! Such contradictions Jehovah 
may well be weary of. They are too much for even 
his patience. Iniquity and a meeting, thus conjoined, 
must be a trouble to him ! Such glaring contradic- 
tions — such gross absurdities in his very presence! 
What else can this be than to make his house a den of 
thieves ? 

II. Such a meeting-holding activity as this discourse 
is designed to expose, is adapted, where human improve- 
ment and welfare are most vitally concerned, to confound 



248 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



things the most incongruous. Few things are as much, 
insisted on in the Bible as a just discrimination among 
moral distinctions. Jeremiah, on one occasion, was 
greatly disheartened amidst the demands of his office. 
He knew not how to take another step. Amidst the 
disgusting forms of iniquity around him, his confidence 
in God was greatly impaired. He was ready, broken- 
hearted, to abandon his work. But what said the 
Lord ? He encouraged him to enter anew upon his 
official course with fresh zeal and increased activity. 
He described the condition on which he might expect 
to speak with the authority of the God who sent him. 
"If thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shall be 
as my mouth."* From a just discrimination among 
moral distinctions, his words would derive great weight 
and power. This Jehovah regarded as all-essential to 
the fidelity and success of the prophet. In another 
connection we are assured, that divine influences de- 
velop and express themselves in making such distinc- 
tions clear and definite. u Then shall ye return and 
discern between the righteous and the wicked, between 
him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. v f 
The hypocrites around him, the Saviour once upbraided 
with a strange and hurtful negligence where just dis- 
crimination had a vital bearing upon their character. 
They were sharp-sighted enough where weather-signs 
were to be disposed of ; but dull as lead where, with a 
little attention, they could not but see clear indications 
of the presence of the Messiah. " Yea, and why even 
of yourselves judge ye not what is right T"% 

Whatever goes to confound moral distinctions must 

* Jeremiah 15 : 19. \ Malachi 3 : 18. % Luke 12 : 57. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



249 



be of harsh if not of fatal bearing upon character. The 
Law of Kectitude is the basis to which, if good habits 
are to be formed and maintained, our temper and our 
activity must be conformed. Here is the model on 
which sound character is to be fashioned and matured. 
The more clearly and fully this model is presented, the 
higher will be its authority — the greater its power ; the 
more radical and transforming will be its influence 
upon the understanding, conscience and heart. Hence, 
under the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, proceed all 
healthful convictions — all well-directed endeavors — all 
sound reformation. "Whatever goes to confound moral 
distinctions, goes to obscure or misrepresent this model 
— to bereave it of its authority, and neutralize its 
power. If confounded radically and vitally, the model 
disappears. No standard is left, by which moral cha- 
racter can be judged of. No ground remains, on which 
reformatory efforts can be made. As good and evil — 
right and wrong are confounded, the wicked cannot be 
convinced of their wickedness, nor the upright justified 
in their integrity. Indeed, the very significance of the 
words, righteous and wicked, has vanished. We are 
lost in a maze. We wander about without aim or ob- 
ject amidst endless confusions ; the sport of every idle 
wind, of every hap-hazard impulse. 

The positive institutions of religion were designed to 
subserve the end of moral distinctions. Hence they 
derive their meaning. Apart from this end, they are 
unintelligible and worthless. From this, they derive 
whatever sacredness we ascribe to them — become hal- 
lowed in the eyes of men. As hallowed things they 
are commonly regarded. " The calling of assemblies — 
the solemn meeting" — with what reverence they are 
11* 



250 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



looked upon. The temple of the Lord, the pulpit, the 
communion-table — all the arrangements and exercises 
of public worship — how holy they are generally es- 
teemed ! Here men expect to find the standard of 
Eectitude — the model of sound character. And what 
if they find iniquity here excused, or countenanced, or 
justified ? What if intemperance or oppression finds 
a refuge here ? What if pride builds here a nest, and 
prejudice finds here a home ? What if a worldly 
spirit and malignant passions riot and revel here ? 
What if decisive measures to expose popular vices, to 
raise the depressed, to shelter the outcast, to relieve the 
oppressed, are discountenanced here — are pronounced 
impracticable and ridiculous ? What if the earnest 
and determined advocates of freedom — of temperance 
— of an effective and comprehensive philanthropy, are 
here grossly misrepresented and spitefully traduced ? 
•And what if, in the midst of all this, special efforts at 
saving souls are proposed. Special expedients are hit 
upon. Meetings are multiplied and protracted. Zeal 
flames up on every side. Large success in building up 
the church is boasted. Scores of converts flock around 
the communion-table. And all this, while the iniquity 
characteristic of the meeting-holders is cherished and 
maintained ! A few vague, general confessions are 
made as a thing of course. But eulogies'* on wine- 

* Euhgies on wine-drink 'nig. This allusion will be understood by 
those upon whom a long paper was inflicted, first in the church, and 
then in the presbytery, to show, among other things, that the Saviour 
miraculously produced a large quantity of fermented wine at the wed- 
ding in Cana of Galilee, and left no small part of it behind him — 
doubtless for the benefit of the new-married couple ! 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



251 



drinking remain unrevoked — arrangements* to tempt 
the vicious and increase intemperance stand firm — thef 
injured outcast is spurned as contemptuously as ever — 
church processes and decisions, violative of the simplest 
principles of justice, are not so much as called in ques- 
tion' — and;]; the cruel exclusion of the cause of the 
oppressed from the pulpit passes unexposed, uncon- 
demned. In one word, iniquity and the meeting move 
hand in hand ! Thus, things the most incongruous, 
and just there where human improvement and welfare 
are most vitally concerned, are strangely confounded ! 
How, on such ground, can sound character be pro- 
duced ? How even understood ? 

And what must be the various bearing of all this ? 
What, upon those who, amidst the general excitement, 
are reckoned converts ? Here is one, who has all along- 
been driving hard after the world — an eager, greedy 
ear tilling. He finds in the church, and among those 
who are active in extending its limits and controlling 

* To those who are familiar with the history of the Temperance re- 
form in Whitesboro ; and especially to those who have exerted them- 
selves to dry up those fountains of death among us, where intoxicating 
drink is sold, this must be painfully intelligible. 

\ You doi-Ct go to the negro-church and favor the negro-school, do 
you ? 

\ " I did say that slaveholding was not in itself in all cases, and in 
its own nature, a sin. I hold the same opinion now, and I believe I 
shall always hold it, so long as my eyes, and ears, and intellect remain. 
In this I am happy to say I agree with the great mass of the most pious 
and intelligent Christians in America." — "I said that I did not consider 
the subject of slavery as coming within the bounds of the Gospel, and 
that therefore the people need not expect to hear me descant upon it." 
— M Though I should not preach upon slavery myself, nor introduce any 
agents for that purpose." — See Rev. David L. Ogdenh Review, pp. 9, 
10. 



252 



SERMONS AZSTD DISCOURSES. 



its movements, sordid worldliness ; baptized indeed, 
but sordid worldliness still. Will lie, thus counte- 
nanced, break friendship with the world, which he has 
long worshipped ? Will the slave of artificiality — the 
victim of respect of persons, struggle to throw off his 
bonds on entering a community where such bonds are 
worn by way of ornament, and held to be quite con- 
sistent with Christian liberty ? Will the convert, who 
had all along been a wine-bibber, eschew the dangerous 
draughts beneath a pulpit whence issue eulogies on 
wine-drinking ? Or will he who had been a slave- 
holder, who had sold his fellow-men, and lived upon 
the price of blood, enter a church broken-hearted for 
his sin, where the sin of slavery is denied or palliated ? 
Tn the midst of good earthlings, good rum-sellers, good 
wine-drinkers, good friends of slavery — in the midst 
of such odd combinations, such gross incongruities, 
such inexplicable confusion, what standard can be 
found by which sound character may be formed and 
matured ? If these things are consistent with the Law 
of Rectitude — with Christian habits, the Law of Recti- 
tude must be a loose affair — Christian habits must be 
any thing or nothing, adapting themselves to the hu- 
mor or convenience of the thoughtless, the frivolous, 
the selfish. Amidst such incongruities, who can " take 
forth the precious from the vile" — who can distinguish 
between shadow and substance — between empty ap- 
pearance and solid reality ? Nothing has any proper 
existence — any specific character — any intelligible de- 
scription. The Church becomes a very Babel, where 
light and darkness — good and evil are blended together 
— where utter confusion of tongues baffles and defies 
the listening ear — the inquiring mind. Proselytes are 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



253 



thrown into a hot-bed, where they are rapidly ripening 
for hell. And the openly vicious can see no essential 
difference between themselves and the professed Christ- 
ians around them. Such incongruities — can they be 
other than a trouble to Jehovah ? 

III. The thing which this discourse aims to expose 
and condemn, moreover, involves a perversion of the 
means of human salvation. The arrangements, usages, 
and institutions, which the prophet charged the He- 
brews with profaning, were Heaven-appointed — God- 
given. The end to which they looked was sublime and 
glorious. In the midst of abounding iniquity — of 
wide-spread and fiery rebellion, they were designed to 
assert and support the divine authority. At the ap- 
pointed feast, in the solemn meeting, the laws of the 
spiritual world in their application to the relations of 
the Earth were to be defined, expounded, and insisted 
on. Here the will of God, enshrined in the active 
obedience, and commended by the sincere lips of his 
people, was to be continually held up as the model of 
character — the standard of action. Here, the pre- 
rogatives and requisitions of God — the rights and 
duties of man were to be presented in a clear and cer- 
tain light — in beautiful consistency and delightful har- 
mony with each other. Piety God- ward was to ani- 
mate philanthropy man- ward ; and philanthropy was 
to nourish piety. The church was to be Heaven upon 
Earth — transforming Earth to Heaven. All its influ- 
ences, common and special — all its exertions, ordinary 
or extraordinary, were to look directly and effectively 
to the spread of inward purity expressed in outward 
morality. Such was the design of the positive institu- 



254 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



tions of Christianity. Where this design has not been 
overlooked, these institutions have been what Heaven 
intended they should be, a blessing to mankind. They 
have greatly promoted human improvement and the 
general welfare. They have been the admitted source 
of the most substantial benefits. Without them, little 
has been effected or attempted to make man worthy 
of his relations and prospects. It is not to be wondered 
at that they should be regarded with respect little short 
of veneration — that in the eyes of almost all, they 
should be invested with an air of sacredness. Where- 
ever and whenever these institutions are held subserv- 
ient to their proper ends, this feeling must be health- 
ful — opening the way for good results. 

But this feeling may be taken advantage of in mak- 
ing a meeting the home of iniquity. Bad men may 
seek a refuge in sacred places — doing evil under the 
cover of hallowed relations. They may, as they often 
do, assume the character and claim the honors of God's 
anointed servants. Seizing on the high places of the 
church, they may affect zeal for its enlargement and 
prosperity. They suck her breasts of consolation — 
appropriate her honors and her revenues ; why should 
they not deprecate with a jealous eye whatever might 
threaten to reduce her supplies, and drive her to lean- 
ness ? From her strength and authority they derive 
their wealth and splendor. Why should they not labor 
to extend the one and increase the other ? Hence their 
eagerness to call assemblies — to hold meetings — to mul- 
tiply prayers — to employ church-increasing expedients. 
Amidst these very things, they are cunningly busy in 
the work of iniquity. That they never intermit day 
or night. The very temple of Jehovah they convert 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



255 



into a bulwark of evil-doing. Temperance-wise, (he 
church must not be urged to exert her powers.* She 
is too sacred to be spoken to. Off, ye profane ; and let 
her quaff the cup of devils at the table of her Lord ! 
The breath of rebuke from your uncircumcised lips 
would soil her white robes ! The negro-peiv — that 
hateful offspring of murderous prejudice, as mean as it 
is wicked — that consecrated monument of respect of 
persons — that cage of scorpions stinging souls to death ; 
you must not expose the absurdity and sin in which it 
had its origin. Though it is a toad breathing venom 
into the ear of piety, you must not touch it with Ithu- 
riel-spear. The devil thus incarnate must not be ex- 
posed, because, forsooth, he had obtruded himself upon 
the grounds of Paradise ! The negro-pew is one of 
the conditions on which alone well-bred souls can con- 
sent to be saved ; and so, cunning, noisy quacks, in 
dispensing their balm of Gilead, give the negro-pew a 
place among their pious frauds. Nor must the church 

* " Another absurd attempt to interfere with the eucharist was made 
at the State Temperance Society last week in Albany. Ground was 
taken against the use of fermented wine at the communion-table, by a 
minister by the name of Van Buren, at the meeting held in the Baptist 
chapel in Pearl street, on the evening of the 10th. The next day a 
resolution was offered, commending those churches that had introduced 
1 the real juice of the vine, 7 instead of the fermented compounds. The 
thing was warmly opposed by Dr. Potter and Dr. Welch, and after a 
spirited discussion, was lost, 12 to 11 — showing a great deal of good 
sense in the body. The temperance cause has before this received a 
blow by the interference of temperance conventions with the arrange- 
ments of churches ; and we rejoice that in this case there was such an 
overwhelming amount of good sense to check the folly that would ruin 
any cause. There is great hope of the healthy progress of the cause 
under the control of such discreet members." — N. Y. Baptist Register 
for Feb. 19, 1841. 



256 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



be urged in the name of God and bleeding humanity 
to abandon its position in support of slavery, and to 
wield its God -given powers in belialf of the oppressed. 
Abraham it may have slandered, by calling him the 
patriarch of slaveholders ; and, under this character, 
claiming a place in his bosom. The existence of slav- 
ery in the church, it may be affirmed, impairs neither 
the soundness of its faith nor the integrity of its cha- 
racter.* Good intentions, it may be maintained, may 
convert slaveholding into a Christian virtue !f So 
that one may be under sacred obligations to violate the 
inalienable rights of his fellow-men ! And to injure 
them at the most vital points for their special benefit I 
Such poison may have infected the very heart of the 
church ; and quickened and strengthened a deadly 
hostility to the cause of holy Freedom — may have 
made it a nuisance offensive to Heaven and Earth. Yet 
in any effort for its improvement and usefulness, you 
must not fix its eye upon the mortal sins it refuses to 
repent of. General confessions, it may, in a general 
way, be exhorted to make. Thus all offense will be 
avoided. The tide of excitement may flow on. The 
church may be increased, while its old, fondled sins 
may be piously retained. The stream runs on smoothly. 
And the painful necessity of laboring to bring a pro 

" The relation may still exist, salva fide et salva ecclesia — without 
violating the Christian faith or the church." — Prof. Stuarfs Reply to 
Dr. risk. 

f The doctrine of good intentions — the old Jesuitical dogma, assert- 
ing that the end justifies the means, is of wide application — covering 
and sanctifying the whole field where transgression of the divine law 
shows its face, and spits out its venom. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



257 



slavery church to repentance by preaching abolition 
lectures is cunningly avoided !* 

Now, for what purpose was the mission of the Son 
of God undertaken ? And why was he called Jesus? 
The object of his mission, and the occasion of his 
name we have in the aim he vigorously held — in the 
purpose he lovingly cherished, of "saving his people 
from their sins." The Heaven-appointed, Heaven- 
honored means of grace which, in the cause of human 
salvation are to be employed, look, of course, in the 
same direction. A conversion which leaves men at 
variance with the fundamental principles of a sound 
morality, leaves them unsaved. A defective morality 
is the natural offspring of a corrupt Christianity. If 
the former is defective at fundamental points, the latter 
is radically false and fatally corrupt. What must we 
say of a system of morality which, in the very pre- 
sence of slaveholding, connives at its enormities, and 
even affects ignorance of its deadly tendencies ? Which 
gives its countenance to the worst form, under which 
respect of persons, and contempt for the poor, ever 
haunted this spectre-ridden world ? Are men saved 
from their sins who make no scruple of living in them 
— who ingeniously excuse or stoutly defend them ? 
Who curl their lips or gnash their teeth upon every 
one who dares honestly attempt to carry out the prin- 
ciples of the Gospel to their most natural and signifi- 
cant applications ? When a meeting is held to counte- 
nance and strengthen such a Christianity, it is held to 
countenance and strengthen iniquity. An effort is 

* " And you would have me commence a protracted meeting by de- 
livering a course of abolition lectures !" To be sure I would, if a pro- 
slavery church is to be brought to repentance. 



258 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



made to convert bread to poison — to make the means 
of salvation a lure to despair. 

IV. Such a meeting-holding activity as this discourse 
is occupied with, involves an attempt to bring Jehovah 
into the service of Satan. Upon the positive institutions 
of Christianity, He has impressed the stamp of his au- 
thority. They are adapted, as they were designed to 
support his authority — to subserve the ends of his gov- 
ernment. They are dear to his heart as the fruit of 
his wisdom and goodness. They are known by his 
name. They are identified with his cause. Often has 
he been known greatly to honor them — making them 
the medium through which his choicest gifts were im- 
parted. From their relation to him, they derive all 
their sacredness. Thus, as arrangements established 
by his hand and for his glory, they are identified in 
the minds of his creatures with his government — with 
himself. By virtue of this relation to Heaven it is 
that bad men are enabled to force them into the service 
of iniquity. With long faces, and solemn tones, and 
loud pretensions, they so practise their pious frauds as 
to deceive the simple and the unwary. Hear them. It 
is the cause of God we are intent on promoting. These 
special means we use at his bidding. In his name we 
make accessions to his kingdom. For his sake we ask 
the countenance and cooperation of all his friends. By 
the Cross we expect to conquer. The influences of 
the Holy Spirit we implore and enjoy. To stand aloof 
from our exertions is to deny the Saviour. These pro- 
fessions are made, and these claims set up, to give 
effect to the artifices, by which they would secure favor 
and support for a corrupt Christianity. In the name 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



259 



of the Lord, they render service to the devil. On his 
altar they burn their idol-sacrifices. The arms which 
were designed to subdue his enemies, they level at his 
breast. Thus they strive to force him into the service 
of Satan. 

With indignation and surprise, voice after voice ex- 
claims : What have we here ? We thought that Jeho- 
vah was the avenger of the oppressed ; that he had no 
respect of persons ; that according to his word, to iden- 
tify ourselves with crushed humanity, was the way to 
enjoy his favor. We understood that Jesus Christ had 
given general notice, that in the final day he would 
make the most bruised and battered form of humanity 
a test of our regard for him. And the Holy Spirit, we 
thought, impressed upon all the subjects of his regen- 
erating power the image of the all-merciful One. But 
if what we here witness be indeed what it claims to be, 
the work of God — his hands must be strangely at va- 
riance with his lips. In what is here ascribed to the 
Holy Spirit, we see no indications of a power divine. 
And the effects do not imply the elements of a sound 
morality. Even those who were busy in producing 
these effects, whatever saintship they may claim, have 
never yet even aspired to the dignity of men. In a 
generous and magnanimous regard for our common 
nature, they fall short of the attainments of many a 
deist. What a puzzle ! If God be true, this is not 
his work. Ah ! my friends ; God is true — whatever 
becomes of human artifices. He is not to be seduced 
or forced into a denial of himself. And he regards 
with utter loathing the union of iniquity with a 
meeting. 

How, then, are we to regard the positive institutions 



260 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



of religion ? Very highly for their end's sake. The 
holy Sabbath ; the Christian temple ; the sacred min- 
istry ; the comniunion-table ; the conference and prayer- 
meQting ; the pastoral walk — precious, all-precious for 
their happy bearings and healthful tendencies in their 
relation to moral character. This gives them high im- 
portance — deep significance. With this constantly in 
view, we can hardly overrate them. Glad shall we be 
when they say, Let us go up to the house of the Lord. 
For his work's sake, we shall highly esteem the Christ- 
ian minister. To the disciples of the Saviour we shall 
join ourselves in an everlasting covenant. The com- 
munion of saints we shall earnestly seek at the sacra- 
mental supper. In our efforts to lead the heavy-laden 
to the great source of rest, we shall be instant in sea- 
son and out of season. On ordinary occasions, and 
occasions extraordinary, we shall not forsake the assem- 
bling of ourselves together. Fearing the Lord, we 
shall often speak to each other — stirring up each other's 
minds in the way of a grateful remembrance of what 
Heaven forbids us to forget. Thus shall we seek light 
and strength and encouragement in discharging our 
Heaven-appointed duties. The frames and feelings 
and impulses, which bear us onward in the way of 
practical obedience, we shall prize for their healthful 
tendencies and happy effects. Thus the positive in re- 
ligion will become for us the handmaid of the moral 
in religion. The excitement which melts our hearts 
will strengthen our hands. Our reverence for the 
Creator will be accompanied with respect for his crea- 
tures. Charity towards his children will flow from 
love to the Father. Our regard for his authority will 
be coupled with respect for their rights. Our delight 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



261 



in his blessedness will be joined with exertions for 
their welfare. What we approve in preaching we shall 
embody in practice. A meeting-holding activity will 
be followed by a duty-doing activity. 

To divorce the positive from the moral in religion is 
to destroy both. The moral will be neglected if the 
positive is despised ; and the positive must be insigni- 
ficant if the moral is overlooked. If the end is for- 
gotten, the means are worthless ; if the means are 
neglected, the end is lost. Doing without saying is a 
blind activity ; saying without doing is an empty 
sound. A proper regard for one, will lead us to insist 
upon both. Give them tongues, and with one voice 
they would exclaim, United we stand, divided we fall. 

A meeting-holding activity, accompanied with a dis- 
regard for the claims of humanity, we ought to eschew 
for its hurtfulness, and abhor for its wickedness. Just 
so far as we give it countenance, we pervert the right 
ways of the Lord. We subscribe to the glaring lie, 
that on the ground where humanity withers, religion 
may flourish ; that hearts dead to the claims of man, 
may be alive to the requisitions of God ! 

How is it, that we hear of revivals of religion among 
the monuments of slavery ? Of successful evangelists 
among anti-abolitionists ? Of a fervent zeal with a lax 
morality ? The excitement begins, goes on and ends ; 
the tide rises, swells and ebbs, and leaves worldliness, 
and respect of persons, and alliance with oppression, 
and a league with intemperance, and contempt for the 
poor, and a compromise with popular follies, and party 
spirit, and sectarian zeal, and a spiteful opposition to 
all who sigh and cry on account of prevailing abomi- 
nations — these things, and such as these, in the old 



262 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



church and the new proselytes, it leaves where it found 
them, unrebuked, unassailed ; in full vigor and activity. 
No direct, earnest, and decisive reformatory efforts are 
'here made, lest the excitement should be reduced ! To 
expose and assail prevailing forms of sin, would be 
prejudicial to the revival ; would divert the attention 
of awakened souls from the one thing needful f And 
so men are to be reconciled to God with their eye 
averted from the very point where their rebellion burns 
the most fiercely ! And to be reformed without at- 
tention to the particulars where their violations of the 
law are most flagrant ! Theatrical expedients are em- 
ployed, and a theatrical effect is produced ! Eealities 
are exchanged for romance. A great noise is made 
about iniquity, and repentance, and giving the heart to 
God, and being engaged in religion ; but the sober 
realities which are involved in sinning and turning to 
the Lord are avoided, lest revival-sermons should sink 
into abolition lectures, or temperance addresses, or ex- 
positions of the seventh commandment, or commenta- 
ries on respect of persons, or charges to the rich to dis- 
tribute, and to the proud not to be high-minded, or 
attacks upon the settled order of things, and the estab- 
lished usages of society ! And so the revival does up 
its work without touching the strong-holds in which 
Satan is intrenched ! What objection can he have to 
such revivals ? The more frequent they are, and the 
longer they continue, the more firmly is his throne 
established. Men may weep or laugh, be merry or sad, 
wear long faces or short faces, make long prayers or 
swear long oaths, go to the church or go to the brothel, 
profess religion or profess atheism, preach or prate, it 
is all one to him, while they leave him unmolested, to 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



263 



multiply his murders. They may even hang him in 
effigy, if they will keep their hands from his person. 
They may, without offence to him, have as much reli- 
gion as they please, provided they will keep it in what 
he calls its place — safely closeted with their Sunday- 
clothes ; apart from the actual relations and ordinary 
business of life ; where it may muse and meditate, sing 
psalms and pray prayers, without being annoyed by 
the dust of the market, the din of the exchange, the 
wrangling and contending by which the ballot-box is 
beset. His most efficient votaries have a religion of 
this sort ; and can, on suitable occasion, bestir them- 
selves to multiply proselytes. They may be zealous 
for God at the protracted meeting, provided always, 
that they are zealous for the devil, too, in bargain- 
making and negro-hating ; in clinging to parties 
pledged to the support of slavery, and in opposing de- 
cisive measures to promote the cause of temperance. 
Whoever combines iniquity with a meeting, may 
reckon on the countenance and cooperation of the 
devil. 

But, my brethren, will you lend yours? Can you 
thus renounce your principles, and forget your vows, 
and dishonor your Saviour, and trample on your 
Bibles, and turn to mockery the sacred things of Hea- 
ven ? Can you thus enter into a league with iniquity — 
a covenant with Death? Heaven forbid! "Be not 
deceived ; God is not mocked ; for whatsoever ye sow, 
that must ye also reap." He is a tempte?* who, under 
religious pretences, would betray you into inconsisten- 
cies at war with the principles which Heaven requires 
you to honor. Here, especially, perils beset you. 
Never is the devil so dangerous as when, with Scrip- 



264: 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ture on his lips, he- approaches us as an angel of light. 
Let us beware of his devices. Let us, in a law-abiding 
way, exert ourselves to build up the heavenly king- 
dom, that God may smile upon us ; that Christ may 
own and guide us ; that the Holy Spirit may refresh 
us with his life-giving influences ! 



While connected with the Oneida Institute, I pre- 
pared a paper, which was published, on the bearing of 
the New Testament on American slavery. The tenor 
and spirit of it are fairly represented by the following 
extract, which may be easily understood and justly 
estimated, however separated from the paragraphs to 
which it belongs. 



SLAVERY NOT IN THE NEW 
TESTAMENT. 



THE CONDITION" in which in its efforts to bless 
mankind, the primitive Church was placed, must have 
greatly assisted the early Christians in understanding 
and applying the principles of the Gospel. Their 
Master was born in great obscurity, lived in the deep- 
est poverty, and died the most ignominious death. 
The place of his residence, his familiarity with the out- 
casts of society, his welcoming assistance and support 
from female hands, his casting his beloved mother, 
when he hung upon the cross, upon the charity of a 
disciple — such things evince the depth of his poverty, 
and show to what derision and contempt he must have 
been exposed. Could such an one, " despised and re- 
jected of men — a man of sorrows and acquainted with 
grief," play the oppressor, or smile on those who made 
merchandise of the poor ? 

And what was the history of the apostles, but an 
illustration of the doctrine, that " it is enough for the 
disciple, that he be as his Master" ? Were they lordly 
ecclesiastics, abounding with wealth, shining with 
splendor, bloated with luxury? Were they ambitious 
of distinction, fleecing, and trampling, and devouring 
"the flocks," that they themselves might "have the 
preeminence" ? Were they slaveholding bishops ? 
Or did they derive their support from the wages ot 
iniquity and the price of blood ? Can such inferences 
be drawn from the account of their condition, which 
the most gifted and enterprising of their number has 
put upon record? "Even unto this present hour, we 
both hunger, and thirst, and are naked ; and are buffeted, 
and have no certain dwelling-place, and labor working 
12 



266 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless ; being 
persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat; 
we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off- 
scouring of all things unto this day."* Are these 
the men who practised or countenanced slavery? With 
such a temper, they WOULD NOT ; in such circumstances, 
they COULD NOT. Exposed to " tribulation, distress, 
and persecution;" subject to famine and nakedness, to 
peril and the sword; "killed all the day long; ac- 
counted as sheep for the slaughter, "f they would have 
made but a sorry figure at the great-house or slave- 
market. 

Xor was the condition of the brethren, generallj r , 
better than that of the apostles. The position of the 
apostles doubtless entitled them to the strongest oppo- 
sition, the heaviest reproaches, the fiercest persecution. 
But derision and contempt must have been the lot of 
Christians generally. Surely we cannot think so ill 
of primitive Christianity, as to suppose that believers, 
generally, refused to share in the trials and sufferings 
of their leaders, as to suppose that while the leader 
submitted to manual labor, to buffeting, to be reckoned 
the filth of the world, to be accounted as sheep for the 
slaughter, his brethren lived in affluence, ease and 
honor ! despising manual labor ! and living upon the 
Jabor of unrequited toil ! But on this point we are not 
left to mere inference and conjecture. The Apostle 
Paul in the plainest language explains the ordination 
of Heaven. " But God hath chosen the foolish things 
of the world to confound the wise; and God hath 
chosen the weak things of the world to confound the 



* 1 Cor. 4 : 11-13. 



f Rom. 8 : 35, 36. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



267 



things which are mighty ; and base things of the world, 
and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, 
and things WHICH ARE NOT, to bring to naught things 
that are."* Here we may well notice, 

1. That it was not by accident that the primitive 
Churches were made up of such elements, but the 
result of the Divine choice — an arrangement of his 
wise and gracious Providence. The inference is natural, 
that this ordination was coextensive with the triumphs 
of Christianity. It was nothing new or strange, that 
Jehovah had concealed his glory "from the wise and 
prudent, and had revealed it unto babes," or that 
"the common people heard him gladly," while "not 
many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not 
many noble, had been called." 

2. The description of character, which the Apostle 
records, could be adapted only to what are reckoned 
the very dregs of humanity. The foolish and the weak, 
the base and the contemptible, in the estimation of 
worldly pride and wisdom — these were they whose 
broken hearts were reached, and moulded, and re- 
freshed by the Gospel; these were they whom the 
Apostle took to his bosom as his own brethren. 

That slaves abounded at Corinth, may easily be ad- 
mitted. They have a place in the enumeration of ele- 
ments of which, according to the Apostle, the Church 
there was composed. The most remarkable class found 
there, consisted of "things which are not" — mere 
nobodies, not admitted to the privileges of men, but 
degraded to a level with "goods and chattels;" of 
whom no account was made in such arrangements of 



* 1 Cor. 1 : 27, 28. 



268 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



society as subserved the improvement, and dignity, 
and happiness of mankind. How accurately this de- 
scription applies to those who are crushed under the 
chattel principle ! 

The reference which the Apostle makes to the " deep 
poverty of the Churches of Macedonia,"* and this to 
stir up the sluggish liberality of his Corinthian breth- 
ren, naturally leaves the impression, that the latter 
were by no means inferior to the former in the gifts of 
Providence. But, pressed with want and pinched by 
poverty as were the believers in "Macedonia and 
Achaia, it pleased them to make a certain contribution 
for the poor saints which were at Jerusalem."! Thus 
is appears, that Christians every where were familiar 
with contempt and indigence, so much so, that the 
Apostle would dissuade such as had no families from 
assuming the responsibilities of the conjugal relation !J 

Now, how did these good people treat each other ? 
Did the few among them, who were esteemed wise, 
mighty, or noble, exert their influence and employ 
their power in oppressing the weak, in disposing of 
the "things that are not," as marketable commodities! 
— kneeling with them in prayer in the evening, and 
putting them up at auction next morning ! Did the 
Church sell any of the members to swell the " certain 
contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem !" Far 
otherwise — as far as possible ! In those Christian com- 
munities where the influence of the apostles was most 
powerful, and where the arrangements drew forth their 
highest commendations, believers treated, each other 
as brethren, in the strongest sense of that sweet word. 



* 2 Cor. 8 : 2. 



t Rom. 15 : 26. 



% 1 Cor. 1 : 26, 27. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



269 



So warm was their mutual love, so strong the public 
spirit, so open-handed and abundant the general liber- 
ality, that they are set forth as " having all things com- 
mon* Slaves and their holders here? Neither the 
one nor the other could, in that relation to each other, 
have breathed such an atmosphere. The appeal of the 
kneeling bondman, " Am I not a man and a brother? " 
must here have met with a prompt and powerful re- 
sponse. 

The tests by which our Saviour tries the character of 
his professed disciples, shed a strong light upon the 
genius of the Gospel. In one connection, f an inquirer 
demands of the Saviour: " What good thing shall I do 
that I may have eternal life ?" After being reminded 
of the obligations which his social nature imposed 
upon him, he ventured, while claiming to be free from 
guilt in his relations to mankind, to demand: " What 
lack I yet?" The radical deficiency under which his 
character labored, the Saviour was not long or obscure 
in pointing out. 11 If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell 
that thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt 
have treasure in heaven ; and come and follow me." 
On this passage it is natural to suggest — • 

1. That we have here a test of universal application. 
The rectitude and benevolence of our Saviour's charac- 
ter forbid us to suppose, that he would subject this in- 
quirer, especially as he was highly amiable, to a trial, 
where eternal life was at stake, peculiarly severe. In- 
deed, the test seems to have been only a fair exposi- 
tion of the second great command, and of course it 
must be applicable to all who are placed under the ob- 

* Acts 4 : 32. f Luke 18 : 18-25. 



270 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ligations of that precept. Those who cannot stand 
this test, as their character is radically imperfect and 
unsound, must, with the inquirer to whom our Lord ap- 
plied it, be pronounced unfit for the kingdom of heaven. 

2. The least that our Saviour can in that passage be 
understood to demand is, that we disinterestedly and 
heartily devote ourselves to the welfare of mankind, 
" the poor" especially. We are to put ourselves on a 
level with them, as we must do " in selling that we 
have" for their benefit — in other words, in employing 
our powers and resources to elevate their character, 
condition and prospects. This our Saviour did ; and 
if we refuse to enter into Sympathy and cooperation 
with him, how can we be his followers? Apply this 
test to the slaveholder. Instead of " selling that he 
hath" for the benefit of the poor, he buys the poor, 
and exacts their sweat with stripes, to enable him to 
" clothe himself in purple and fine linen, and fare 
sumptuously every day;" or, he sells the poor to 
support the Gospel and convert the heathen ! 

What, in describing the scenes of the final judgment, 
does our Saviour teach us ? By what standard must 
our character be estimated, and the retributions of 
eternity be awarded? A standard, which both the 
righteous and the wicked will be surprised to see 
erected. From the "offscouring of all things," the 
meanest specimen of humanity will be selected — a 
" stranger" in the hands of the oppressor, naked, hun- 
gry, sickly ; and this stranger, placed in the midst of 
the assembled universe, by the side of the sovereign 
Judge, will be openly acknowledged as his represent- 
ative. "'Glory, honor and immortality," will be the 
reward of those who had recognized and cheered their 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



271 



Lord through his outraged poor. And tribulation, 
anguish and despair, will seize on " every soul of man" 
who had neglected or despised them. But whom, 
within the limits of our country, are we to regard 
especially as the representatives of our final Judge ? 
Every feature of the Saviour's picture finds its appro- 
priate original in our enslaved countrymen. 

1. They are the least of his brethren. 

2. They are subject to thirst and hunger, unable to 
command a cup of water or a crumb of bread. 

3. They are exposed to wasting sickness, without 
the ability to procure a nurse or employ a physician. 

4. They are emphatically "in prison," restrained by 
chains, goaded with whips, tasked, and under keepers. 
Not a wretch groans in any cell of the prisons of our 
country, who is exposed to a confinement so rigorous 
and heart-breaking as the law allows theirs to be con- 
tinually and permanently. 

5. And then they are emphatically, and peculiarly, 
and exclusively, strangers — strangers in the land 
which gave them birth. Whom else do we constrain 
to remain aliens in the midst of our free institution? ? 
The Welsh, the Swiss, the Irish ? The Jews even ? 
Alas! it is the negro only, who may not strike his roots 
into our soil. Every where we have conspired to treat 
him as a stranger — every where he is forced to feel 
himself a stranger. In the stage and steamboat, in 
the parlor and at our tables, in the scenes of business 
and in the scenes of amusement — even in the Church 
of God and at the communion-table, he is regarded as 
a stranger. The intelligent and religious are generally 
disgusted and horror-struck at the thought of his be- 
coming identified with the citizens of our republic — so 



272 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



much so, that thousands of them have entered into a 
conspiracy to send him off 4 4 out of sight," to find a 
home on a foreign shore! — and justify themselves by 
openly alleging, that a "single drop" of his blood, in 
the veins of any human creature, must make him hate- 
ful to his fellow-citizens! That nothing but banish- 
ment from "our coasts," can redeem him from the 
scorn and contempt to which his " stranger" blood has 
reduced him among his own mother's children ! 

Who, then, in this land "of milk and honey," is 
"hungry and athirst," but the man from whom the 
law takes away the last crumb of bread and the small- 
est drop of water ? 

Who " naked," but the man whom the law strips of 
the last rag of clothing? 

Who "sick," but the man whom the law deprives 
of the power of procuring medicine or sending for a 
physician? 

Who " in prison," but the man who, all his life, is 
under the control of merciless masters and cruel 
keepers ? 

Who a "stranger" but the man who is scornfully 
denied the cheapest courtesies of life — who is treated 
as an alien in his native country ? 

There is one point in this awful description which 
deserves particular attention. Those who are doomed 
to the left hand of the Judge, are not charged with in- 
flicting positive injuries on their helpless, needy and 
oppressed brother. Theirs was what is often called 
negative character. What they had done is not de- 
scribed in the indictment. Their neglect of duty, what 
they had not done ) was the ground of their " everlast- 
ing punishment." The representative of their Judge, 



SERMON'S AXD DISCOURSES. 273 

they had seen an hungered and they gave him no meat, 
thirsty and they gave him no drink, a stranger and 
they took him not in, naked and they clothed him not, 
sick and in prison and they visited him not. Inas- 
much as they did NOT yield to the claims of suffering ' 
humanity — did NOT exert themselves to bless the 
meanest of the human family, they were driven away 
in their wickedness. But what if the indictment had 
run thus: I was an hungered and ye snatched away 
the crust which might have saved me from starvation ; 
I was thirsty and ye dashed to the ground the "cup 
of cold water," which might have moistened my 
parched lips ; I was a stranger and ye drove me from 
the hovel which might have sheltered me from the 
piercing wind ; I was sick and ye scourged me to my 
task; in prison and ye sold me for my jail- fees — to 
what depths of hell must not those who were convict- 
ed under such charges be consigned! And what is 
the history of American slavery but one long indict- 
ment, describing under ever- varying forms and hues 
just such injuries! 

Nor should it be forgotten, that those who incurred 
the displeasure of their Judge, took far other views 
than he, of their own past history. The charges which 
he brought against them, they heard with great sur- 
prise. They were sure that they had never thus 
turned away from his necessities. Indeed, when had 
they seen him thus subject to poverty, insult and op- 
pression? Never. And as to that poor friendless 
creature, whom they left unpitied and unhelped in the 
hands of the oppressor, and whom their Judge now 
presented as his own representative, they never once 
supposed that he had any claims on their compassion 

12* 



274 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



and assistance. Had they known, that he was destined 
to so prominent a place at the final judgment, they 
would have treated him as a human being, in despite 
of any social, pecuniary, or political considerations. 
But neither their negative virtue nor their voluntary 
ignorance could shield them from the penal fire which 
their selfishness had kindled. 

Now amidst the general maxims, the leading prin- 
ciples, the " great commandments" of the Grospel ; 
amidst its comprehensive descriptions and authorized 
tests of Christian character, we should take our posi- 
tion in disposing of any particular allusions to such 
forms and usages of the primitive Churches as are sup- 
ported by divine authority. The latter must be inter- 
preted and understood in the light of the former. But 
how do the apologists and defenders of slavery pro- 
ceed? Placing themselves amidst the arrangements 
and usages which grew out of the corruptions of Christ- 
ianity, they make these the standard by which the 
Gospel is to be explained and understood ! Some Ee 
corder or Justice, without the light of inquiry or the 
aid of a jury, consigns the negro whom the kidnapper 
has dragged into his presence to the horrors of slavery. 
As the poor wretch shrieks and faints, Humanity 
shudders and demands why such atrocities are en- 
dured. Some "priest" or Levite," " passing by on 
the other side," quite self-possessed and all-complacent, 
reads in reply from his broad phylactery, Paul sent 
bach Onesimus to Philemon! Yes, echoes the negro- 
hating mob, made up of " gentlemen of property and 
standing" together with equally gentle-men reeking 
from the gutter ; Yes — Paul sent back Onesimus to Phi- 
lemon! And Humanity, brow-beaten, stunned with 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



275 



noise and tumult, is pushed aside by the crowd! A 
fair specimen this of the manner in which modern 
usages are made to interpret the sacred Scriptures ! 

Of the particular passages in the New Testament on 
which the apologists for slavery especially rely, the 
epistle to Philemon first demands our attention. 

1. This letter was written by the Apostle Paul while 
a " prisoner of Jesus Christ" at Eome. 

2. Philemon was a benevolent and trustworthy 
member of the Church at Colosse, at whose house the 
disciples of Christ held their assemblies, and who owed 
his conversion, under God, directly or indirectly to the 
ministry of Paul. 

3. Onesimus was the servant of Philemon ; under a 
relation which it is difficult with accuracy and certain- 
ty to define. His condition, though servile, could not 
have been like that of an American slave ; as, in that 
case, however he might have wronged Philemon, he 
could not also have 11 owed him aught"* The Amer- 
ican slave is, according to law, as much the property 
of his master as any other chattel ; and can no more 
"owe" his master than can a sheep or a horse. The 
basis of all pecuniary obligations lies in some " value 
received." How can "an article of merchandise" 
stand on this basis and sustain commercial relations to 
its owner? There is no person to offer or promise. 
Personality is swallowed up in American slavery ! 

4. How Onesimus found his way to Eome it is- not 
easy to determine. He and Philemon appear to have 
parted from each other on ill terms. The general cha- 
racter of Onesimus, certainly, in his relation to Phile- 



* Philemon 18. 



276 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



mon, had been far from attractive, and he seems to 
have left him without repairing the wrongs he had 
done him, or paying the debts which he owed him. 
At Borne, by the blessing of God upon the exertions 
of the A]30stle, he was brought to reflection and re- 
pentance. 

5. In reviewing his history in the light of Christian 
truth, he became painfully aware of the injuries he had 
inflicted on Philemon. lie longed for an opportunity 
for frank confession and full restitution. Having, how- 
ever, parted with Philemon on ill terms, he knew not 
how to appear in his presence. Under such embar- 
rassments, he naturally sought sympathy and advice 
of Paul. His influence upon Philemon, Onesimus 
knew must be powerful, especially as an apostle. 

6. A letter in behalf of Onesimus was therefore 
written by the Apostle to Philemon. After such salu- 
tations, benedictions and thanksgivings as the good 
character and useful life of Philemon naturally drew 
from the heart of Paul, he proceeds to the object of the 
letter. He admits that Onesimus had behaved ill in 
the service of Philemon ; not in running away, for how 
they had parted with each other is not explained ; but 
in being unprofitable and in refusing to pay the debts* 
which he had contracted. But his character had under- 
gone a radical change. Thenceforward fidelity and 
usefulness would be his aim and mark his course. 
And as to any pecuniary obligations which he had vio- 
lated, the Apostle authorized Philemon to put them on 
kis account. f Thus a way was fairly opened to the 
heart of Philemon. And now what does the Apostle 
ask ? 

* Verses 11, 18. f Verse 18. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



277 



7. He asks that Philemon would receive Onesimus. 
How? "Not as a servant, but above a servant."* How 
much above? Philemon was to receive him as "a 
son" of the Apostle — "as a brother beloved" — nay, if 
he counted Paul a partner, an equal, he was to receive 
Onesimus as he would receive the Apostle himself. \ So 
much above a servant was he to receive him I 

8. But was not this request to be so interpreted and 
complied with as to put Onesimus in the hands of Phi- 
lemon as " an article of merchandise," carnally, 
while it raised him to the dignity of a " brother be- 
loved," spiritually? In other words, might not 
Philemon consistently with the request of Paul, have 
reduced Onesimus to a chattel, as A man, while he ad- 
mitted him fraternally to his bosom, as a Christian ? 
Such gibberish in an apostolic epistle ! Never. As 
if, however to guard against such folly, the natural 
product of mist and moonshine, the Apostle would have 
Onesimus raised above a servant to the dignity of a 
brother beloved, "both in the flesh and in the 
Lord ;" \ as a man and Christian, in all the relations, 
circumstances and responsibilities of life. 

It is easy now with definiteness and certainty to de- 
termine in what sense the Apostle in such connections 
uses the word "brother" It describes a relation incon- 
sistent with and opposite to the servile. It is "not" 
the relation of a " servant." It elevates its subject 
"above" the servile condition. It raises him to full 
equality with the master, to the same equality, on 
which Paul and Philemon stood side by side as bro- 
thers ; and this, not in some vague, undefined, spi- 

* Verse 16. f Verses 10, 16, 17. J: Verse 16. 



278 



SERMONS ASD DISCOURSES. 



ritual sense, affecting the soul and leaving the body in 
bonds, but in every way, "both in the flesh and in 
the Lord. 7 ' This matter deserves particular and earnest 
attention. It sheds a strong light on other lessons of 
apostolic instruction. 

9. It is greatly to our purpose, moreover, to observe 
that the Apostle clearly defines the moral character of 
his request. It was fit, proper, right, suited to the na- 
ture and relation of things — a thing which ought to be 
done.* On this account, he might have urged it upon 
Philemon in the form of an injunction, on apostolic 
authority and with great boldness.-}* The very nature 
of the request made it obligatory on Philemon. He 
was sacredly bound, out of regard to the fitness of 
things, to admit Onesimus to full equality with him- 
self — to treat him as a brother both in the Lord and as 
having flesh — as a fellow-man. Thus were the inalien- 
able rights and birthright privileges of Onesimus, as a 
member of the human family, defined and protected 
by apostolic authority. 

10. The Apostle preferred a request instead of im- 
posing a command, on the ground of charity.;}: He 
would give Philemon an opportunity of discharging 
his obligations under the impulse of love. To this im- 
pulse, he was confident Philemon would promptly and 
fully yield. How could he do otherwise ? The thing 
itself was right. The request respecting it came from 

* Verse 8. Ta avvKov. See Robinson's New Testament Lexicon ; 
" it is fit, proper, becoming, it ought." In what sense King James's 
translators used the word u convenient" any one may see who will read 
Rom. 1 : 28 and Eph. 5 : 3, 4. 

f Verse 8 

J Verse 9 — dia r-nv ayanrjv. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



279 



a benefactor, to whom, under God, he was under the 
highest obligations.* That benefactor, now an old 
man, and in the hands of persecutors, manifested a 
deep and tender interest in the matter, and had the 
strongest jDersuasion that Philemon was more ready to 
grant than himself to entreat. The result, as he was 
soon to visit Colosse, and had commissioned Philemon 
to prepare a lodging for him, must come under the eye 
of the Apostle. The request was so manifestly reason- 
able and obligatory, that the Apostle, after all, described 
a compliance with it, by the strong word " obedience?' 'f 
Now, how must all this have been understood by 
the Church at Colosse? — a church doubtless made up 
of such material as the Church at Corinth, that is, of 
members chiefly from the humblest walks of life. 
Many of them had probably felt the degradation, and 
tasted the bitterness of the servile condition. Would 
they have been likely to interpret the Apostle's letter 
under the bias of feelings friendly to slavery ? — And put 
the slaveholder's construction on its contents? Would 
their past experience or present sufferings — for doubt- 
less some of them were still " under the yoke" — have 
suggested to their thoughts such glosses as some of our 
theological professors venture to put upon the words 
of the Apostle ? Far otherwise. The Spirit of the 
Lord was there, and the epistle was read in the light 
of "liberty" It contained the principles of holy free- 
dom, faithfully and affectionately applied. This must 
have made it precious in the eyes of such men " of low 
degree" as were most of the believers, and welcome to 
a place in the sacred canon. There let it remain as a 



* Verse 19. 



f Verse 21. 



280 



SERMOHS AXD DISCOURSES. 



luminous and powerful defence of the cause of eman- 
cipation ! 

Bat what saith Professor Stuart? "If any one 
doubts, let him take the case of Paul's sending One- 
simus back to Philemon, with an apology for his run- 
ning away, and sending him back to be his servant for 
life."* 

" Paul sent back Onesimus to Philemon." By what 
process ? Did the Apostle, a prisoner at Kome, seize 
upon the fugitive, and drag him before some heartless 
and perfidious " Judge," for authority to send him 
back to Colosse ? Did he hurry his victim away from 
the presence of the fat and supple magistrate, to be 
driven under chains and the lash to the field of unre- 
quited toil, whence he had escaped ? Had the Apostle 
been like some teachers in the American churches, he 
might, as a professor of sacred literature in one of our 
seminaries, or a preacher of the Gospel to the rich in 
some of our cities, have consented thus to subserve the 
" peculiar" interests of a dear slaveholding brother. 
But the venerable champion of truth and freedom was 
himself under bonds in the imperial city, waiting for 
the crown of martyrdom. He wrote a letter to the 
Church at Colosse, which was accustomed to meet at 
the house of Philemon, and another letter to that mag- 
nanimous disciple, and sent them by the hand of One- 
simus. So much for the way in which Onesimus was 
sent back to his master. 

A slave escapes from a patriarch in Georgia, and 
seeks a refuge in the parish of the Connecticut doctor 
of Divinity, who once gave public notice that he saw 



* See his letter to Dr. Fisk. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



281 



no reason for caring for the servitude of his fellow- 
men.* Under his influence, Caesar becomes a Christ- 
ian convert. Burning with love for the son whom he 
hath begotten in the Gospel, our doctor resolves to 
send him baclrto his master. Accordingly, he writes 
a letter, gives it to Caesar, and bids him return, staff in 
hand, to the " corner-stone of our republican institu- 
tions." Now, what would any Caesar do, who had 
ever felt a link of slavery's chain ? As he left his spi- 
ritual father, should we be surprised to hear him say 
to himself, What ! return of my own accord to the 
man who, with the hand of a robber, plucked me from 
my mother's bosom ! — for whom I have been so often 
drenched in the sweat of unrequited toil ! — whose vio- 
lence so often cut my flesh and scarred my limbs ! — 
who shut out every ray of light from my mind ! — 
who laid claim to those honors to which my Creator 
and Eedeemer only are entitled ! And for what am I 
to return ? To be cursed, and smitten, and sold ! To 
be tempted, and torn, and destroyed ! I cannot thus 
throw myself away — thus rush upon my own des- 
truction. 

Who ever heard of the voluntary return of a fugitive 
from American oppression? Do you think that the 
doctor and his friends could persuade one to carry a 
letter to the patriarch from whom he had escaped ? 
And must we believe this of Onesimus ? 

" Paul sent back Onesimus to Philemon." On what 
occasion ? — "If," writes the Apostle, u he hath wronged 
thee, or owed thee aught, put that on my account." 
Alive to the claims of duty, Onesimus would " restore" 



* "Why should I care ?" 



282 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



whatever lie " had taken away." He would honestly 
pay his debts. This resolution the Apostle warmly ap- 
proved. He was ready, at whatever expense, to help 
his young disciple in carrying it into full effect. Of 
this he assured Philemon, in language the most ex- 
plicit and emphatic. Here we find one reason for the 
conduct of Paul in sending Onesimus to Philemon. 

If a fugitive slave of the Rev. Dr. Smylie, of Missis- 
sippi, should return to him with a letter from a doctor 
of divinity in New- York, containing such an assurance, 
how would the reverend slaveholder dispose of it? 
What, he exclaims, have we here ? "If Cato has not 
been upright in his pecuniary intercourse with you — 
if he owes you any thing — put that on my account." 
What ignorance of Southern institutions ! What mock- 
ery, to talk of pecuniary intercourse between a slave 
and his master ! The slave himself, with all he is and 
has, is an article of merchandise. What can he owe his 
master? A rustic may lay a wager with his mule, 
and give the creature the peck of oats which he had 
permitted it to win. But who, in sober earnest, would 
call this a pecuniary transaction ? 

" To be His servant for life I" From what part 
of the epistle could the expositor have evolved a 
thought so soothing to tyrants— so revolting to every 
man who loves his own nature? From this? "For 
perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou 
shouldst receive him forever. 7 ' Eeceive him how? 
As a servant, exclaims our commentator. But what 
wrote the Apostle ? " Not now as a servant, but above 
a servant, a brother beloved, especially to me, but how 
much more unto thee, both in the flesh and in the 
Lord." Who authorizes the Professor to bereave the 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



283 



word u noV of its negative influence? According to 
Paul, Philemon was to receive Onesimus " not as a 
servant according to Stuart, he was to receive him 
11 as a servant /" If the Professor will apply the same 
rules of exposition to the writings of the abolitionists, 
all difference between him and them must in his view 
presently vanish away. The harmonizing process 
would be equally simple and effectual. He has only 
to understand them as affirming what they deny, and 
as denying what they affirm. 

Suppose that Professor Stuart had a son residing at 
the South. His slave, having stolen money of his 
master, effected his escape. He fled to Andover, to 
find a refuge among the " sons of the prophets." There 
he finds his way to Professor Stuart's house, and offers 
to render any service which the Professor, dangerously 
ill "of a typhus fever," might require. He is soon 
found to be a most active, skilful, faithful nurse. He 
spares no pains, night and day, to make himself useful 
to the venerable sufferer. He anticipates every want. 
In the most delicate and tender manner, he tries to 
soothe every pain. He fastens himself strongly on the 
heart of the reverend object of his care. Touched 
with the heavenly spirit, the meek demeanor, the sub- 
missive frame, which the sick-bed exhibits, Archy be- 
comes a Christian. A new bond now ties him and his 
convalescent teacher together. As soon as he is able 
to write, the Professor sends Archy with the following 
letter to the South, to Isaac Stuart Esq. : 

" My Dear Sox : With a hand enfeebled by a dis- 
tressing and dangerous illness, from which I am slowly 
recovering, I address you on a subject which lies very 



28± 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



near my heart. I have a request to urge, which our 
mutual relation to each other, and your strong obli- 
gations to me, will, I cannot doubt, make you eager 
fully to grant. I say a request, though the thing I ask 
is, in its very nature, and on the principles of the Gos- 
pel, obligatory upon you. I might, therefore, boldly 
demand, what I earnestly entreat. But I know how 
generous, magnanimous and Christ-like you are, and 
how readily you will 1 do even more than I say' — I, 
your own father, an old man, almost exhausted with 
multiplied exertions for the benefit of my family and 
my country, and now just rising, emaciated and broken, 
from the brink of the grave. I write in behalf of 
Archy, whom I regard with the affection of a father, 
and whom, indeed, l I have begotten in my sickness.' 
Gladly would I have retained him, to be an Isaac to 
me — for how often did not his soothing voice, and 
skilful hand, and unwearied attention to my wants, 
remind me of you ! But I chose to give you an op- 
portunity of manifesting, voluntarily, the goodness of 
your heart ; as, if I had retained him with me, you 
might seem to have been forced to grant what you will 
gratefully bestow. Ilis temporary absence from you 
may have opened the way for his permanent continu- 
ance with you. Not now as a slave. Heaven forbid ! 
But superior to a slave. Superior, did I say ? Take 
him to your bosom, as a beloved brother ; for I own 
him as a son, and regard him as such, in all the rela- 
tions of life, both as a man and a Christian. 4 Eeceive 
him as myself.' And that nothing may hinder you 
from complying with my request at once, I hereby pro- 
mise, without adverting to your many and great obli- 
gations to me, to pay you every cent which he took 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



285 



from your drawer. Any preparation which my com- 
fort with you may require, you will make without 
much delay, when you learn, that I intend, as soon as 
I shall be able ' to perform the journey,' to make you 
a visit." 

And what if Dr. Baxter, in giving an account of this 
letter should publicly declare that Professor Stuart, of 
Andover, regarded slaveholding as lawful ; for that 
"he had sent Archy back to his son Isaac, with an 
apology for his running away," to be held in perpetual 
slavery ? "With what propriety might not the Pro- 
fessor exclaim : False, every syllable false. I sent him 
back, NOT TO BE HELD AS A SLAVE, but recognized as a 
dear brother, in all respects, under every relation, civil and 
ecclesiastical. I bade my son receive Archy as myself. 
If this was not equivalent to a requisition to set him 
fully and most honorably free, and that, too, on the 
ground of natural obligation and Christian principle, 
then I know not how to frame such a requisition. 

I am well aware that my supposition is by no means 
strong enough fully to illustrate the case to which it is 
applied. Professor Stuart lacks apostolical authority. 
Isaac Stuart is not a leading member of a church con- 
sisting, as the early churches chiefly consisted, of what 
the world regard as the dregs of society — "the oft- 
scouring of all things." Kor was slavery at Colosse, it 
seems, supported by such barbarous usages, such horrid 
laws as disgrace the South. 



IDEA OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT. 



Some ten or twelve years ago I delivered at Buffalo 
a speech before the Liberty Party Convention, which 
was published with its proceedings. It was occupied 
with the Idea of Civil Government. The definitions, 
illustrations, arguments and conclusions, which it con- 
tains, I regard as worthy of the thoughtful attention 
and earnest study of any such readers as this volume 
may attract. I therefore give it a place among its 
pages. 

It is hardly necessary that I should occupy your 
time in saying, that the general aim, which shines 
through the Address under discussion, commands my 
admiration. It is doubtless better, if I solicit your at- 
tention at all, to refer to particulars in which I may re- 
gard the Address as capable of radical improvement. 
I know of no better way of attempting what I would 
gladly see accomplished, than to suggest a few some- 
what general and comprehensive hints on the subject 
of Civil Government, and the mutual relations which 
bind rulers and subjects together. Before entering on 
this design, I an strongly tempted to offer some account 
of certain inconsistencies, which at one point and 
another, seem to me to mark the Address. The gov- 
ernment here or there must not, we are taught, bring 
labor, with its relations, interests, operations, under its 
jurisdiction, further than, in some general way, to 
afford it protection. An exception is indeed made in 
favor of the recent attempt in France to organize labor 
— an expedient, it is hinted, demanded there by special 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



287 



necessities, which therefore would naturally be only 
temporary. But while, according to the Address, gov- 
ernment ought not to bring labor under its jurisdic- 
tion, it ought not to permit more than ten hours a day 
of toil to be exacted of the laborer. Its negative obli- 
gations, then, are in direct conflict with its positive 
obligations. Both, it cannot honor. Besides, one 
thing here is so connected with another, that the gov- 
ernment cannot define the time, during which labor 
may be exacted, without affecting its relations in 
various respects. Any responsibility here, therefore, 
implies other responsibilities, which must, at the same 
time, be recognized. To the whole subject of labor it 
must, as it may find occasion, accordingly apply itself. 

To every man, moreover, the Address teaches, the 
government should secure a " Homestead. " He is en- 
titled to this, as inalienably and obviously, as he can 
be to the enjoyment of air and sunlight ! If this be 
so, it cannot well be denied, that the Soil, in opposition 
to the doctrine of the Address, lies under the jurisdic- 
tion of the government. Otherwise, it can by no means 
fulfil any such obligation. How can it assign, directly 
or indirectly, to any man his portion of that which lies 
beyond its jurisdiction ? 

Such inconsistencies in many ways, men of different 
schools and parties are continually running into, filling 
the whole sphere of morals with perplexity and con- 
fusion. And no wonder. For our countrymen have 
all along been cherishing, under the name of "the 
peculiar institution," a monster, which has for ages 
been prolifically producing anomalies and abomina- 
tions of all sorts and sizes, which it has scattered over 
the Eepublic as thickly and universally as ever frogs 



288 



SERM0XS AXD DISCOURSES. 



and lice were spread over Egypt. The creatures who 
have been placed at the head of affairs among us, have 
cherished Slavery as if it "were the very heart of the 
nation — as if upon its maintenance and prevalence 
our welfare vitally depended. No extravagancies, no 
humiliations, no sacrifices have been reckoned too 
great, in the effort to extend and perpetuate its influ- 
ence. Eeason, Conscience, Will — all the attributes of 
our human nature — have been laid upon its altars. We 
have poured our treasures and our blood at its feet as 
freely as water can be spilled upon the ground. Every 
form of social life among us it has reached — eveiy ele- 
ment of our social existence it has infected. It has 
affected our character every way — all our aims, me- 
thods, modes of thought, and currents of sentiment. 
Thus affected, we fall, unconsciously, into the strangest 
confusions, and utter the flattest contradictions ! Argu- 
ments we often employ for one purpose and another, 
and on the gravest occasions, ludicrously unintelligible 
or inconclusive. To illustrate, Slavery is manifestly 
founded on the ruins of the Idea of Eectitude. That 
is a fundamental and all-comprehensive Law of Eecti- 
ti'de, which requires us to treat every thing according 
to its character — according to its essential attributes 
and qualities. A person on the one hand, and a chat- 
tel on the other, are distinguished from each other in- 
trinsically, widely, and eternally. They stand opposed 
to each other not in degree merely, but in kind — in 
the very nature by which they are respectively charac- 
terized. A chattel, therefore, can never be raised to 
personality — a person can never be reduced to chattel- 
ship. To attempt this, is to assail the very Idea of 
Rectitude — to boast of success is to affirm that the Idea 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



289 



of Rectitude has been obliterated. Now this is the 
boast of Slavery — a boast, uttered in the solemn, mea- 
sured language of law ! It describes the persons, whom 
it thus reduces to slavery, as chattels ; and enjoins that 
as chattels, they should be disposed of. It admits their 
personality only when, through their personality, inju- 
ries may be inflicted on them. It tosses them back 
and forth between personality and chattelship, just as 
may be convenient for the master and hurtful to the 
slave. Thus Rectitude is treated not as a Divine Idea, 
immutable and authoritative ; but as a phantom, to be 
called forward or kept back according to the conveni- 
ence or caprice of the conjurors on whom it is ex- 
pected obsequiously to wait. In other words, the slave 
is now regarded as a person and now as a chattel — he is 
forced to fly back and forth from one to the other, shut- 
tle-wise, as the passions of the master may demand. Thus 
the very idea of rectitude — its intrinsic, essential, dis- 
tinctive characteristics — is trampled into nothing. Right 
and wrong become merely arbitrary terms, applicable 
to whatever may suit the occasion ; descriptive of 
this or that or nothing. And yet after consenting, that 
within the sphere of Slavery every thing belonging to 
responsibility and obligation should be thrown into 
utter confusion, our countrymen are continually talking 
about the rights of the master and the duties of the 
slave, and about what we ought to do or ought not to do 
in our relations to the one and to the other ! Nothing 
more confused or unintelligible can be found at the 
heart of old Chaos. 

Let us take up this general statement under some of 
the particular applications of which it is clearly capa- 
ble. The slave, it is often alleged, is apt to steal. 
13 



290 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES, 



Those who agree with each other in affirming that he 
may well exert himself to escape from his bonds, differ 
from each other, some in asserting and others in deny- 
ing that he has a right to take, any where along his 
course, the horse or the boat, which might aid him in 
his flight ! Now, no where within the sphere of slavery 
can theft be committed. And for the reason that it 
annihilates the institution of property. The right to 
appropriate and possess can no where be found. For 
property always implies personality, from which it 
essentially differs. If the distinctions separating the 
one from the other be destroyed — if the two be con- 
founded with each other, the very idea of property 
vanishes. For it is absurd to suppose that property 
can own property — that cattle can own the fields they 
may be grazing in. To attempt, then, to reduce, in 
any case, personality to property, is to assail the insti- 
tution of property. If there be one word of truth — 
the least significance in the slave-code, the right of pro- 
perty, even in idea, must be pronounced abolished. 
Who, then, where this code asserts its authority, can 
be convicted of stealing ? No such crime can there be 
committed or even conceived of. 

Why should any of us hear with an air of incre- 
dulity, that the life of the slave, the code under which 
he groans, leaves unprotected ; that he is every where 
and at all times exposed to violence ; that caprice or 
malignity may do their worst upon him with impu- 
nity ? The thing may not only be so, historically ; it must 
be so according to the intrinsic tendencies of the slave- 
laws. The slave is there as such pronounced a chattel. 
Now, the destruction of a chattel, whatever it may be, 
cannot be murder. Human blood cannot flow in the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



291 



veins — a human heart cannot beat in a chattel. Where 
personality is not, can there be murder ? A death of 
violence the slave may suffer — often does suffer. Dam- 
ages may be demanded and obtained. But with what 
show of propriety can an indictment for a capital 
offence be required and proceeded on ? The death of 
chattels cannot be murder. The personality of the mas- 
ter, moreover, cannot be maintained under the influ- 
ences of slavery. The master and the slave in this 
matter stand side by side — are indissolubly united, to 
each other — must share the same fate — sink or swim in 
the same element. To strike down the personality of 
one man, is to strike down the personality of all men. 
As they all are made of the same stuff — as common 
blood flows in all their veins — as they are united in 
one and the same nature, they must, in respect to their 
personality, stand or fall together. Now, in reducing 
its victim to chattelship, slavery has triumphed over all 
that is essential and distinctive in human personality. 
The very basis, therefore, on which the master pro- 
claims his existence, and asserts his rights, is at best a 
mere shadow. His blood, as well as the blood of his 
slave, has lost altogether its human qualities. It is not 
human blood. To shed it, if there be any significance in 
the slave-code — if the very least respect can be due to 
the doctrines and demands of slavery ; to shed his 
blood can by no means be murder. If the slaves should 
this very night kill all their masters, they would com- 
mit no murder. They would not fairly be liable to in- 
dictment or punishment. They are reckoned chattels. 
Can chattels be accused and convicted and punished ? 
Whatever might be the results of an insurrection, how- 
ever violent and extended, we should witness nothing 



292 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



else than a fight among mere animals — one herd rush- 
ing wildly upon another ! This is the condition to 
which slavery reduces all its victims, whether they im- 
pose or receive its manacles. And to this conclusion 
all men must yield, who have the least respect for the 
laws of Reason. For it is as absurd as it is wicked — 
it is as ridiculous as it is mischievous, to attempt to 
mix up personality with property ; to treat a name, 
however it may be spelt, now as a person and now as a 
chattel — now as an article of merchandise, and now as 
capable of guilt and liable to penalties. Such confu- 
sions — enough to frighten chaos itself — compared with 
which the strife of tongues at Babel was a heavenly an- 
them — put every thing within their reach out of joint. 
All things are thrown out of place into wild disorder. 
The sphere of ethics among us is the very home of 
hurly-burly. Right and wrong join in a Bacchanalian 
dance — changing places with each other — tripping up 
each other's heels — plunging pell-pell into the same ex- 
cess of riot. Such results must be witnessed wherever 
slavery is endured. Why, then, should not the most 
marked inconsistencies creep out of the same lips — 
the flattest contradictions fall from the same tongue — 
the affirmative and negative be stoutly maintained on 
the same point ? If the presence of slavery does not 
overwhelm us with astonishment, why should we be 
surprised at any thing which may creep from the en- 
trails of the hugest mother-monster ? 

In opposition to such inconsistencies and contradic- 
tions, it may well be affirmed that Civil Government 
has intrinsically and necessarily a character of its own. 
It is strongly and permanently marked by distinctive 
elements — has features essentially characteristic. Its 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



293 



origin and authority, all true Thinkers describe as di- 
vine. It is as truly and plainly a principle of philo- 
sophy as it is a declaration of the Bible, that 11 God is 
the only Potentate. 11 Civil government must be a reflec- 
tion of his throne. Whatever is not this, is not — can 
never be civil government. Eepeat its titles and as- 
sert its claims as you will ; if it be not true to the 
principles of the eternal throne — if it be not conformed 
to the arrangements of the heavenly kingdom, it may 
be a cunningly-devised, a plausibly-defended, a stoutly- 
executed conspiracy. It can in no wise, for no pur- 
pose be a government. How can that be an ordination 
of God which is in conflict with his will — opposed to 
his designs ? Can the Deity wage war upon the Deity ? 

The principles of his government, God has made the 
very basis of the human structure — the very soul of 
our being. His great laws he has inscribed upon our 
hearts — wrought into the very texture of our exist- 
ence. His voice penetrates right royally the awful 
depths of our consciousness, giving utterance and ex- 
pression and effect to the obligations which bind us, 
indissolubly and eternally, to his throne. Are we not 
conscious of the Law of Rectitude, in which may be 
found, and from which may be derived, the treasures 
of wisdom, goodness, power — in which are hidden, and 
from which may be evolved all the various specific re- 
quisitions which, as adapted to the different aspects and 
relations of human existence, we are bound to respect — 
in which the sum and substance of all authentic reve- 
lations are sublimely condensed and majestically 
uttered ? In this great law, indelibly impressed on 
universal human nature, all the elements which distin- 
guish and characterize civil government are found. 



294 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Here is their origin, here their substance. Hence they 
must be derived, whatever form they may assume — 
whatever titles they may bear. To assert the claims 
of justice — to define and defend rights — to cherish and 
express a world-embracing philanthropy — to promote 
the general welfare — to afford counsel and protection — 
these are the appropriate objects of civil government. 
On these the great Majesty — the Sovereign Authority 
is royally intent. And wherever, in these all- vital re- 
spects, the divine designs are embodied and expressed 
in human arrangements, there, and there only, can we 
find Civil Government. 

From the essential elements of Civil Government, the 
characteristic features of Eulers — who and what they are 
— may be easily and certainly inferred. They are the 
men, whatever their condition and employments, who 
are distinguished for their God-like qualities — for their 
integrity, wisdom, magnanimity, power — who are able 
to give counsel and afford protection. These are rulers 
by a " divine right" — they are Heaven-anointed. They 
are rulers by nature, character, necessity. They are 
just as truly so against as with the suffrages of their 
fellows. As they are not indebted to the popular voice 
for the high qualities for which they are distinguished, 
so the popular voice cannot degrade them from the 
high position where they stand. As their character is 
royal, so must be their influence. Wherever they ex- 
ert themselves, they will leave the impression of them- 
selves — their own " image and superscription. 77 And 
this, whether they sit upon the ground among crimi- 
nals or on thrones among heroes. 

I am aware that such words are contradictory to the 
utterances which the popular voice is continually and 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



295 



confidently repeating. It is but too generally asserted 
that the majority can create or destroy at its option, 
throughout the whole sphere of civil government ! It 
can make as it can unmake rulers ! And this, out of 
all sorts of materials ! It can take the sceptre from 
the hand of Wisdom and confer it on Folly ! It can 
remove Power from the throne, and put Weakness in 
its place ! It can degrade Heroism and exalt Selfish- 
ness ! To such feats the majority is commonly 
reckoned competent ! And so it puts on airs — boasts 
and swaggers — utters big threats, and makes huge pro- 
mises, and swells itself into a kind of god ! In the 
mean time, it cannot confer wisdom or power or mag- 
nanimity, manliness under any form or in any degree 
upon its favorites. Far enough from that. It does 
not even understand the meaning of the words which 
are employed to describe such divine qualities ! The 
majority create rulers ! It does not even know them 
when in their presence — under their eye — beneath 
their control ! 

As to reducing them to degradation and depriving 
them of power — the majority once made the attempt 
when the Source of Authority stood incarnate among 
them. They maligned him, reproached him, " smote 
him with the fist of wickedness," and finally fastened 
him to a cross ! They affected to triumph over him — 
to exult in the success of their machinations. But 
what did they effect ? Did they pluck his crown from 
his brow ? Did they even reduce his power or dignity 
or authority ? Far otherwise. Never had he exerted 
an influence more sublimely kingly — never had he 
swayed his sceptre with a higher majesty. They could 
not touch a hair of his anointed head ! Themselves 



296 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



they plunged into the fathomless depths of wickedness, 
absurdity, misery ; him, their utmost violence and cun- 
ning could by no means reach or even approach. Thus 
has it always been — must always be, with all who bear 
his image — with kingly men the world over. Eulers 
in character, and thus rulers by divine appointment, 
whether recognized by their fellows or not, they have 
acted a royal part — have, in one way or another, offered 
counsel and protection to those around them. And 
this, not by virtue of any suffrages they might have 
received, but through the Heaven-derived elements 
which shone through their character. And what have 
they done for the benefit of mankind, who, without the 
character, have assumed the place of rulers ? Have 
the suffrages of their fellows made them wise, strong, 
magnanimous, intrepid, faithful ? Made them the 
light and the shield and the glory of those whom they 
affected to be busy in guiding and feeding and pro- 
tecting ? What else have they been in the sphere of 
their responsibilities, but a plague and a nuisance and 
a curse — pillaging and devouring and wasting what- 
ever bright and beauteous thing lay within their reach ? 
Mere snakes on the throne, the terror of all who were 
exposed to their loathsome breath and envenomed 
fangs ! 

Universal suffrage, as the grand remedy for the poli- 
tical evils men complain of — I know how eagerly and 
loudly and incessantly this is generally demanded. 
The people, the people, the people at large — give them 
the reins, and the goal will doubtless be speedily 
reached ! Give the multitude up to the control of the 
multitude, and all men will be well provided for ! 
Guidance and protection will be afforded in the largest 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 297 

measure and at the least expense ! " Milk and honey 
without money and without price I" Such are the 
dreams which men of different parties confidently and 
emphatically proclaim. Just as if the experiment of 
a democracy, pure or mixed, had never been witnessed ! 
What, so far as forms and methods and arrangements 
in the sphere of government are concerned, have we 
not seen tried ! Way-worn and heart-sore, burdened, 
benighted and storm-driven, men have assailed the 
monarchy as the source of their embarrassments. Aris- 
tocracy has been brought into requisition, and to this 
they have looked with eager expectation. Disap- 
pointed, mocked, mortified, they have thrown them- 
selves into the arms of Democracy, and found them- 
selves in the embrace of a bear ! Maddened and des- 
perate, they have broken loose, and tried what anarchy 
might do for their relief. From this, always found ab- 
solutely unendurable, they sullenly throw themselves 
at the feet of grim Despotism ! Like an eyeless horse 
in a mill, round and round they go ; always seeking, 
never finding what their restless souls are blindly in- 
tent upon — expecting from mere names, forms, shadows, 
what the neglected substance can only confer. "What 
substantial good can be gotten out of suffrage, however 
unlimited and universal ? Integrity, wisdom, heroism 
— these are the only source whence human welfare can 
proceed. And are these the product of any sort of 
suffrage, however modified and hiaintained ? If the 
whole human family should vote by acclamation till 
faint and weary with the business, no poor grain of 
Wisdom — no shred of Heroism could they thus pro- 
duce ! Multiply blindness, folly, weakness as you will ; 
what, as a result, can you expect but weakness, folly, 
13* 



293 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



blindness ? The qualities characteristic of, and requi- 
site to, government, must proceed from a higher origin 
than the multitude. They are God-given endowments, 
quickened into life and activity in the character of 
heroes. The elective franchise, in the hands of a knave 
or a fool, is a dagger in the hands of a madman or an 
assassin ! It belongs only to those who can wield it 
wisely and w r ell, in subserviency to, and promotion of, 
the general welfare ; who, while they distinguish be- 
tween wisdom and folly, magnanimity and meanness, 
power and weakness, exert themselves to raise those, 
and those only, to the " head of affairs," who are wor- 
thy of the position, and alive to its responsibilities. 
For it is the business of the elector, not to create, but 
to select rulers, and offer his allegiance to them. If he 
has no eye or heart for this business ; if he can see no 
essential difference between a government and a con- 
spiracy ; if he feels quite at liberty, in disposing of his 
vote, to prefer a usurper, who may favor his cherished 
designs to the king who, " without partiality or hypo- 
crisy," will execute justice, show mercy, and promote 
every way the general welfare, he has no more right to 
vote, than a blind man has to preside over the sphere 
of optics. The elective franchise, as well as official 
authority, should be kept within natural limits ; and 
these limits are to be found in the elements and attri- 
butes of the character, which may be maintained and 
manifested. For no man can have a right to do what he 
is not qualified to accomplish. 

In preparing these thoughts for the press, I shall 
take the liberty to suggest a hint or two, which I did 
not urge on the ear of the Convention. The cherished 
and honored author of the Address somewhat emphat- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 2 99 

ically affirmed, in publicly explaining and defending 
it, that "the greatest scoundrel was as fully entitled to 
the elective franchise, as the most distinguished saint." 
This strong statement drew forth, I know not how 
generally, expressions of applause. Now scoundrels, 
not always, perhaps, the greatest, often find their way to 
the State-prison. Ought we not to acquiesce in the 
equity and wisdom of the arrangement which prevents 
them, afterwards, from wielding the elective franchise ? 
On what ground may this arrangement be maintained 
and commended ? Clearly on this ; that driven by 
their passions into the commission of crimes, they are 
to be regarded as having lost self-possession — as un- 
manned — as unable healthfully to exert themselves — 
manfully to wield their powers, Now, ought not the 
principle which this announcement implies, and by 
which it is supported, to be universally applied, and 
with strict impartiality ? The general welfare ob- 
viously demands that it should be applied to all vassals 
and victims of passion. But who, a thousand voices 
demand, shall make the application ? Those, I reply, 
those of course, whoever and wherever they may be, 
who are qualified for such an office. If it be affirmed, 
as it often is, that no such thing can be attempted — 
that the principle in question can be applied only to 
minors and convicts, I have only to say, we must then 
go on in the sphere of politics as hitherto we have pro- 
ceeded ; we must stumble blindly along, we know not 
how or whither, and, as a result, fall into all manner 
of absurdities, contradictions and embarrassments. If 
the blind, as hitherto, are to be intrusted with the con- 
duct of the blind; both those who lead and those 
who are led must, as hitherto, be precipitated into th§ 
abyss. 



300 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES, 



The truth is, a truth to be most earnestly and grate- 
fully recognized, we are shut up wherever the general 
improvement and welfare are to be promoted ; we are 
shut up, absolutely and inevitably, and by a necessity 
as beneficent as it is imperious ; we are shut up to 
character. It is high time this all- vital truth were 
studied, understood, applied. It is as true in politics 
as any where else, that character is every thing — that 
in it is to be sought, from it to be derived, whatever 
of good the human family is capable of appropriating 
and enjoying. We may task our ingenuity, and ex- 
haust our strength in devising " ways and means'' — we 
may multiply expedients to the utmost stretch of hu- 
man computation ; may increase our exertions without 
measure and without end ; but without character, no- 
thing can be done to bless mankind. Here we may 
give an impulse, and there impose a check — we may 
modify and remodify — add at one point and subtract 
from another — condense or expand — quicken or retard, 
we can do nothing for ourselves or others without cha- 
racter. With character, what may we not attempt in 
hope and triumphantly achieve ? Your patience will 
permit me to offer a few illustrations. 

Men often mark out with much solicitude the limits, 
within which, they allege, the operations of the govern- 
ment should be confined. The boundaries prescribed 
must by no means be overstepped. Here they set up 
a way-mark, there utter a caution, and at another point 
impose a check. And after all, they find large occasion 
for alarm and complaint. The Constitution, they affirm, 
is violated — its provisions treated with contempt — its 
characteristic objects sacrificed. How often and how 
loudly does not the party out of power charge the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



301 



party in power with, such enormities ! But what 
remedy can be applied to such evils where they exist — ■ 
what provision can be made against them w T here they 
threaten to assail us ? We may declare, and remon- 
strate, and enact. One party may snatch the reins 
from the hands of another. New measures may be 
proposed — new expedients hit upon. But nothing in 
any such way can be effected. Put true Rulers at the 
helm, and all is well. The heart of heroism — the light 
of wisdom — the arm of power — these are the stuff out 
of which government is to be constructed. All else is 
" vanity and vexation of spirit." Where these are, 
there is counsel and protection — there human necessi- 
ties are provided for, human rights asserted — progress 
made toward the true goal. Till you can have too 
much of these, you cannot have too much of what de- 
serves the name of government. With these, your 
limitations, and checks, and cautions are needless — 
without these, futile. 

Taxation — how many delicate and difficult questions 
may it not suggest ? How much shall be exacted ? 
By what method shall it be collected ? Shall it be di- 
rect or indirect ? How shall it be appropriated ? Shall 
salaries be larger or smaller ? How may the taxed 
best be persuaded to honor their obligations ? Such 
questions very naturally attract deep attention — awaken 
warm discussion — open the way for various experi- 
ments and results. But while those who are placed at 
" the head of affairs" care only for the wages, leaving 
the work to take care of itself, how can the problem of 
taxation be happily disposed of ? They may bear the 
title of rulers, while they themselves are the slaves of 
prejudice and passion — they may profess a warm re- 



302 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES, 



gard for the general welfare, while they are wholly en- 
grossed with their own petty objects : they may seem 
to be intent on affording counsel and protection, while 
really busy in offering insults and inflicting injuries. 
They may set up high claims to respect, reverence, 
obedience, while they deserve abhorrence and execra- 
tion. They may be called the government, while they 
are nothing better than a conspiracy. Their official 
activity, however invested with an air of solemnity 
and dignity, may be nothing better than mischief-doing 
on a broad scale. The persuasion may be general and 
well-grounded, that the'less they attempt, the better for 
their country — that our obligations to them increase as 
their activity diminishes. All this may be — alas ! has 
often been. To pay taxes, directly or indirectly, to 
support any such government, cannot be otherwise 
than a grievous necessity. Whatever men may say, 
their objections lie, not against the mode, but the thing, 
whatever mode may be preferred. Activity in com- 
mitting crimes — mischief-doing on whatever scale, and 
with whatever pretensions, we cannot be expected to 
pay wages for with complacency and alacrity. It is 
quite enough to endure insults and injuries, without 
submitting to inconvenience and expense to reward 
those who inflict the one and offer the other. Here, 
within a narrow compass, lie all the difficulties and 
embarrassments, which the problem of taxation implies 
and presents. But for guides and defenders, give us 
men who can defend and guide, and every thing be- 
comes plain and easy — the embarrassments and diffi- 
culties, which cannot otherwise be grappled with, 
evanish at once and forever. For, engrossed with theii 
work, they will not clamor for their wages. As other- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 303 



wise, so in self-denial — in moderation, simplicity, fru- 
gality — a readiness to help themselves and assist others, 
they will be an "example to the flock." In whatever 
goes to reduce human wants, and increase human sup- 
plies, their influence will be inspiring and powerful. To 
support such rulers, light taxes will suffice. And these 
will be paid right cheerfully. How can it be otherwise 
under the persuasion that they "have earned their 
money" — have returned an ample equivalent for what- 
ever they may have taken — that all the demands which 
are urged on their account, are most obviously and 
certainly " for value received." Thus, and thus only, 
can the problem of taxation be divested of its difficul- 
ties — be solved to general satisfaction. While all this 
is overlooked, we may fatigue our brains, and rack our 
inventions as we will, in devising ways and means to 
raise revenues and collect taxes, we never can accom- 
plish what we are thus intent upon. The great prin- 
ciple of work and wages must here, as elsewhere, be 
admitted and applied. 

Let us look for a moment at the question which is 
beginning to attract so much attention — the question 
of Land-monopoly. On this subject, one declares and 
affirms — another qualifies or denies. Strong statements 
are made and promptly contradicted. All sorts of 
metaphysics are brought into requisition — all sorts of 
arguments are framed and urged. Here it is affirmed 
that the Soil is naturally as free as air or sunlight, and 
appropriation on any ground, and to any extent, is no 
better than robbery. There, it is alleged, that appro- 
priation should not be absolutely excluded — only kept 
within narrow limits. But however their doctrines 
may be qualified and modified, almost all agree that 



304 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



land-monopoly should be abhorred. If the thing, how- 
ever it may be to be defined, could be done away, 
almost all agree, that the condition of mankind would 
be greatly improved. To be sure, I may say in pass- 
ing on, that our relations to the Atmosphere and the 
Soil may be the same, if the one, as truly and fully as 
the other, can be fenced in and improved ; if human 
skill and industry can make the air as well as the land 
ten times better than they found it — ten times as avail- 
able for all the ends of human existence ; if on the air 
as on the soil we may write our names in permanent 
characters — may with the one as with the other mingle 
our very blood, and impress upon it our very image. 
But without making a long pause at any such point in 
our progress, the hint may be permitted, that if the 
soil be to be reduced to a common, those who are found 
upon it must either have, or not have, what may de- 
serve the name of character. Some may be supposed 
to be with, and others without this highest of all ac- 
quisitions. From good character, the results of recti- 
tude, wisdom, enterprise, industry, fidelity may be 
expected. Bad character will betray itself in dis- 
honesty, idleness, self-indulgence, recklessness. Put 
those notorious for the latter qualities on the same 
common with those distinguished for the former, and 
what sort of a "community of goods" should we wit- 
ness ? A " division of labor" would be made, difficult 
of description and hard to be borne ! Dishonesty 
would lay the hand of violence on the productions of 
Rectitude — Idleness would riot on the fruits of Indus- 
try — Self-indulgence would throw its burdens on the 
shoulders of Enterprise — and Recklessness would tread 
Fidelity under foot. Thus a common soil would pro- 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



305 



dace little else than a common miser}^. But suppose 
a sound character any where, and the evils of Land- 
monopoly would not be to be provided against. For 
Xature, whose laws are the basis of sound character, 
frowns on all monopolies. "Where her voice is heard — 
where her authority is respected — no monopoly can be 
endured. Every man will regard himself as belonging, 
"soul, spirit and body," to every other man. Asa 
member of a great household, he will devote himself 
earnestly to the general welfare, in the best use of 
which his powers and resources may be capable. The 
individual and the social will be continually and vigor- 
ously playing into each other's hands — mutually en- 
couraging and strengthening each other in the great 
enterprise, to which human nature is Heaven-sum- 
moned. Whatever arrangements might be preferred, 
and whatever methods adopted, the general result could 
not but be beautiful, grand, divine. Thus through 
character only can the evils of monopoly be avoided — 
thus, and thus only, can men be brought to subserve 
each other's improvement and welfare. 

Well enough in theory ! the exclamation rings on 
every side ; well enough in theory, but wholly imprac- 
ticable. In Utopia, such doctrines might be to be ad- 
mitted and applied ; but not in this world. Here, we 
must remember that cunning, fraud, violence, are in 
the ascendant ; that passion sways the sceptre ; that 
the usurper holds the throne : this we must remember, 
and act accordingly. We must adjust ourselves as 
best we can to the arrangements and usages which pre- 
vail — to the designs and methods with which the ma- 
jority are engrossed — to the general sentiment, and to 
popular opinion. Justice, philanthropy, magnanimity, 



306 



SEKMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



are in bad odor amidst the practical arrangements of 
life ; what can be effected by asserting their authority 
and insisting on their claims ? Thus men allow them- 
selves to talk — thus absurdly and wickedly — like shal- 
low, canting Atheists as they are ! For all history 
proves clearly and certainly, that in the sphere of poli- 
tics as elsewhere, all other methods are impracticable. 
The experiment has been made a thousand times, and 
in a thousand ways, and always with the same results. 
Expedients innumerable, fresh from the abused brains 
of the cunning, have been employed to ward off the 
natural effects of injustice and misanthropy. In vain, 
every where and always. Sooner or later, in one way 
or another, they have turned out — injustice and misan- 
thropy have turned out to be misery. They have 
subverted empires, broken thrones to pieces, driven 
nations, one after another, into the abyss. On a broad 
scale and a narrow scale, publicly and privately, in in- 
dividuals and in communities, they have ever shown 
themselves to be what they are — death in disguise. It 
is said, mankind cannot get along without them. It 
is most certain, then, that no getting along is to be ex- 
pected — no other than what we witness in the horse 
sinking in the mire — straining and struggling and 
plunging, with the certain result of going deeper and 
deeper in the element he is contending with. If it be 
impracticable to assert the demands, and maintain the 
claims, and secure the influences of what may deserve 
the name of government — if we cannot hope to avail 
ourselves in this ivorld of the guidance of wisdom, and 
the protection of power, then are we either orphans or 
outcasts ; either God is a mere figure of speech, or he 
has thrown us upon the 11 tender mercies" of the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



307 



devil ! If we cannot have wisdom, justice, philan- 
thropy, we can have nothing but despair. Our life is 
wrapped up in these divine ideas ; if they fail us, we 
are dead men ! 

But we have no occasion for despair, or even de- 
spondency. We can at once, and where we are, in 
despite of fraud and force, under any form, and in any 
degree ; we can, in God's name, do whatever our im- 
provement and welfare demand. If we will open our 
eyes, we shall see that the idea of government shines 
like the face of God upon our consciousness — asserting 
there the authority of wisdom, goodness, power. To 
this authority we may submit — to this, in the very face 
of cunning and violence, may swear allegiance. Thus 
bound, we may maintain our integrity and fidelity with 
the high result of a character which can no where and 
in no way be manifested without presenting to man- 
kind THE model on which government is to be constituted 
and maintained. 

We can treat all conspirators, however commended 
to our confidence and respect, according to their cha- 
racter, sternly and steadfastly resisting their false 
claims — promptly and resolutely refusing to obey them 
under the title of rulers. We may submit to their 
dictation as we yield to the demands of highwaymen, 
whom we cannot overcome, and from whom we cannot 
escape. Thus we may pay taxes, directly or indirectly 
exacted, to furnish them with the facilities and luxuries 
on which they may be intent. But we shall refrain, 
on all occasions, by any voluntary token of regard, 
from recognizing, as truthful and well-grounded, the 
pretensions they set up. 

Our allegiance to true rulers we may cordially, faith- 



308 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



fully, intrepidly maintain. We may afford them co m- 
tenancc and support — we may do them honor. We 
may avail ourselves of their wisdom, magnanimity and 
power. Thus we may, in despite of the distracting 
influences and disturbing forces to which we may be 
exposed, sustain their authority. We may thus, in the 
most effective manner, commend them to the confi- 
dence and veneration of our fellows. This is the 

ONLY WAY IN WHICH IT IS NOT DISGRACEFUL AND IN- 
JURIOUS TO ELECTIONEER. 

Thus may we achieve, in opposition to all the in- 
trigues, arts, and exertions of all parties and dema- 
gogues whatever, that may be ai *ed for the conflict, 
a noble triumph. Thus may we acquire self-possession 
and inward harmony — secure for our powers a happy 
development and a healthful exercise, and obtain for 
ourselves the appropriate objects of civil government. 
Thus will Heaven enrich us with a pledge, sure to be 
redeemed, that the reign of the " Only Potentate," the 
True King, will be universal ; that " His kingdom 
shall come, and his will be done, upon the earth as in 
the heavens." 

Oh ! when, for ends so sublime, for purposes so divine, 
shall a standard be set up, and multitudes gathered 
around it ! To belong to such a party — truly "the 
party of the whole," what a privl ge ! What powers 
and prerogatives must it not wield ! What influences 
must it not exert ! What results must it not produce ! 
O friends and brothers ! why should not we, this very 
hour, call it — in the name of God, call it into existence, 
and devote to its high objects our entire being, now 
and forever ? 



Tho general occasion for the following sermon may 
be easily inferred from its paragraphs. " After the 
manner which they," who asperse me, " call heresy, 
so worship I the Saviour of mankind." 

FAITK AND INFIDELITY. 

u Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things 
not seen." — Heb. 11:1. 

Infidelity is a term of reproach ; it is so employed, 
so understood, generally. . It stigmatizes the name to 
which it is affixed ; "holds it up to abhorrence ; con- 
signs it to infamy, it is no wonder, then, that men, 
whatever they may deserve, recoil from its application 
to themselves. But what is that which has so bad a 
name, is in such ill odor, from which almost every one 
stands so promptly and carefully aloof? This inquiry, 
as natural as it is weighty, it is not always easy, wher- 
ever and however it may be put, to get an answer to, 
at all clear and definite. The application of the term 
in question is so very various — is made in such oppo- 
site directions, that we are tempted to regard it as a 
random affair or an expression of ill-humor or malig- 
nity. With many a busy-body, especially in the 
sphere ecclesiastic, it ' mad-dog cry, raised to em- 
barrass the movem i.. , cripple the powers, blast the 
hopes of a rival or an opponent. How, then, may we 
ascertain its meaning or apply it fairly? Here the 
Apostle in the text comes to our assistance : let us 
give him a cordial and grateful welcome. 



310 



SERMONS AM) DISCOURSES. 



Infidelity is a negative affair. It occupies itself with 
denying, rejecting, resisting. To determine in what 
it may consist, and how it should be described, we 
must study it in the light of the positiye ; the affirma- 
tive oyer against which it stands in pointed opposition. 
This, under the name of faith, and in the way of defi- 
nition, clear and comprehensive, the Apostle commends 
to our thoughts and affections. Hear him: "Now 
faith is the substance of things hoped for, the eyidence 
of things not seen." 

Of the things on which the Apostle here insists, he 
specifies two general characteristics. 1. They are m- 
visible. They lie beyond the sphere where the senses 
find their appropriate objects and natural exercise. 
They do not address themselves to the eye, the ear, 
the touch. Bulk, weight, color — we never think of 
ascribing to them any such attributes. Where the 
senses are at home, they cannot be found ; they must 
be sought elsewhere. When we rise above the objects 
which belong to the senses, we approach the awful 
presence of the Reason. We are now on ground es- 
sentially, intrinsically, sublimely other and higher than 
that on which the sun shine- and the rain descends. 
Ilere ideas shine upon the consc iousness ; here principles 
assert their authority ; here laics proclaim their majesty. 
These are not distinct and separate from the reason : 
they are inherent to it — identical with it; they are 
aspects of it. Order, Justice, Beauty, call them 
ideas, principles or laws — what are they but the reason 
so or thus reyealed — so or thus described ? 

These things, 2. Are worthy to be desired, fit to be 
expected ; they are to be M hoped for." They are in- 
trinsically, essentially, substantially good — good in all 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



311 



their bearings and tendencies. Where they bear sway, 
there the flowers and the fruits of Eden flourish. They 
cannot get the upper hand without bringing in along 
with them the golden age. Who, however lofty and 
comprehensive his aspirations, can hope for any thing 
better than the prevalence of order, justice and beauty? 

Xow these things — these ideas, principles, laws, with 
all their tendencies and bearings, in all their worth and 
dignity — belong to mankind. They are revealed to 
the universal human consciousness, as lying within the 
compass of thought, affection and endeavor. They ad- 
dress themselves with a familiar voice and in household 
words to every thing human within us. To our busi- 
ness and bosoms they come home, lovingly, earnestly, 
authoritatively. They awaken within us complacency, 
seriousness, and a sense of obligation. However we 
may submit to the dominance of passion, we cannot 
help admitting that "WE ought to yield to their claims 
— to honor their demands. This is a distinguishing cha- 
racteristic of universal human nature, however influenced, 
modified or manifested. The absurd, the wayward, 
the wicked, as well as the wise and good, confess that 
they ought to be and to do what order, justice, and 
beauty require. And not only are such obligations 
universally felt and acknowledged, but every thing 
which any man in his senses can recognize and reve- 
rence as duty is implied in them, and may be drawn 
from them — is some face or form of order, justice or 
beauty. Whoever, in his aims and methods, in his 
spirit and exertions, is true to these principles, con- 
formed to these ideas, obedient to these laws — and he 
only — is true to all his responsibilities, is worthy of 
universal complacency and the largest rewards. 



312 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



Having conducted us along hallowed ground to the 
point we now stand upon, the Apostle presents faith to 
our thoughtful, affectionate, reverent regards. Of the 
things with which, at his bidding, we have just been 
occupied, faith, he declares, is "the substance." This 
term, essentially Latin, as well as the word correspond- 
ing with it in the Greek of the Apostle, etymologically 
signifies, where human action is concerned, a standing 
or putting himself under. As penetrated and acted on 
by faith, we stand, we put ourselves under the influ- 
ence and control of the things — the ideas, principles, 
laws — to which the Apostle lifts our eyes and raises our 
thoughts : we bring them home to our business and 
bosoms — to the heart of our hearts, the Active Fa- 
culty, in which the I myself 'of every man is especially 
at home. There, through faith, they exert their ap- 
propriate influence, assert their authority, maintain 
their sovereignty. In the exercise of faith, we offer 
ourselves as the living substance, on which they may 
exert themselves characteristically — which they may 
mould, modify and control according to their nature 
and tendencies. Of faith, this is specifically and defi- 
nitely the office and the effect. 

The things with which faith is occupied, exist in all 
their worth, beauty and dignity, whether it be present 
or absent — be or be not exercised. The divine life is 
in them, immutably, imperishably, eternally.- The 
ideas, principles, laws, to which our Apostle refers, are 
inseparable from the Godhead. They are a manifes- 
tation of His presence and designs. They are clothed 
with his majesty. They are armed with his authority. 
"Whether we bow before them with complacency, and 
reverence, and submission, or turn away with stupid 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 313 

contempt or impotent malignity, they are " the same, 
yesterday, to-day and forever" — all- vital, all-beneficent, 
all-glorious. They are revealed under their own pro- 
per character to the human consciousness. They are 
not conjectures, opinions, logical conclusions — tradi- 
tions, dogmas, figures of speech. They are ideas, prin- 
ciples, laws — the soul of all existence and of all action. 
As such they are revealed to the human consciousness. 
To us, as endowed with eyes, hearts and hands, they 
offer themselves. If we avail ourselves of their pre- 
sence, bow to their authority, submit to their demands, 
then and in so doing are we in the exercise of faith. 
And in this exercise, they enter vitally into our per- 
sonality ; they mingle with our life-blood, and inter- 
twist themselves with our heart-strings. They thus 
impart their own vitality, power and beauty, to every 
thing human within us. They thus impress them- 
selves upon our aims, methods, exertions — upon our 
doings, habits, characters — upon whatever belongs to 
our history. They are forever one with us in sove- 
reignty ; and we are forever one with them in obe- 
dience. Thus we become, historically, " partakers of 
the divine nature." No matter in what relation, at 
what position, on what occasion we may exert our- 
selves ; we shall be true to their claims. In the sphere 
of business, where buying, selling, getting gain, awaken 
thought and effort, we shall never consent to adopt the 
maxims or conform to the usages which prevail there 
under the providence of the usurper. The principles 
of the divine government have entered into whatever 
is vital in ourselves. How then can we go any where 
or attempt any thing without their presence and con- 
trol ? In our commercial intercourse with our fellows, 
14 



8U 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES, 



we shall be true to the demands of Order, the claims 
of Justice — to whatever a deep-toned and comprehen- 
sive Philanthropy may require. It will be with us an 
object of deep interest and high endeavor to redress 
their wrongs, to vindicate their rights, to promote their 
welfare. We shall refuse to take advantage of their 
ignorance, heedlessness or necessities ; instead of that, 
we shall give them the benefit of such caution, counsel 
and assistance as they may need, and as we may be 
able to render. Thus, every task which business may 
impose, every transaction which commerce may in- 
volve, every thing in the sphere of economy, will be 
hallowed in our eyes and hearts ; will be an occasion 
on which the principles of the divine government will, 
through faith, strike their roots more and more deeply 
into the texture of our being, and will, through faith, 
manifest themselves more and more clearly and beau- 
tifully in our activity. 

As animated and controlled by the principles which 
faith embraces, we shall be ourselves in the sphere of 
politics. We shall not consent to be borne away or 
led aside by the partial and temporary. We shall not 
here, more than else where, sacrifice the spirit to the 
letter, the substance to the form ; the right, the good, 
the true, to low-born expediency. We shall do homage 
to the soul of things, not to titles, names and places. 
We shall offer our allegiance to the wise, the strong 
and the good — to the magnanimous and valiant, when- 
ever and however we may reach their presence, and in 
whatever circumstances they may be found, whatever 
demands the rash majority — the foolish multitude may 
urge upon us. The professions, designs, policy of any 
party, popular usages, the general sentiment, prevalent 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



315 



opinions, institutions, expedients, arrangements, the 
promotions and depressions, the triumphs and defeats 
which may agitate the atmosphere and raise the dust 
around us, we shall calmly and resolutely estimate, not 
according to their apparent bearings, but according to 
their intrinsic significance. In our relations to the Re- 
public we shall count oursevelves good citizens, patri- 
otic, well-advised, efficient, in proportion as we are, 
and by virtue of our being, loyal to the eternal throne. 
Thus, through faith, shall we contribute what we can 
to the introduction among our fellows of a true govern- 
ment — of ;i the Kingdom of Heaven." And thus with- 
in us shall this kingdom be more and more fully and 
firmly established, and through us, more and more 
clearly and impressively illustrated. 

Faith, moreover, according to the Apostle, is "the 
evidence of the things with which, in the definition 
under hand, his heart and his pen were occupied. 
Through faith, a conviction of their presence and 
power, of their substantial and unfading excellence is 
wrought within us and diffused around us. We place 
ourselves under the controlling influence, the sovereign 
authority of the ideas, principles, laws which are the 
soul and substance of the universe. Standing under 
them, in all their weight and worth, in all their signi- 
ficance and beauty, we cannot fail to receive upon our 
inmost souls their appropriate impression. Their ten- 
dency and power to purify, invigorate, refresh, will be 
with us, not a logical conclusion or deep-toned per- 
suasion merely, but a matter of daily experience. 
Thus brought home to our business and bosoms, under 
their influence we shall acquire self-possession. The 
human within us will be aroused, developed, matured. 



316 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



A true vitality will pervade our existence ; we shall 
see into and lay hold of the significance of the objects 
and relations with which, on every hand as well as 
above and beneath us, we are connected. "We shall 
find each his appropriate place, shall act each his allotted 
part. The sacredness of our tasks and trials we shall 
perceive, and move on in the sphere allotted us, firmly, 
cheerfully, hopefully. Encouragement to and a reward 
for well-doing, we shall gratefully appropriate at every 
step of our progress towards the true goal. Thus faith 
brings us to the possession and enjoyment of ourselves, 
and of the various benefits which belong to the many- 
sided and far-reaching existence with which we are 
endowed. Can we ask for proof more appropriate, 
clear and decisive, of the power and benignity of the 
principles which faith embraces, than is thus brought 
home to our inmost consciousness ? The effects they 
have wrought upon us, the results they have produced 
within us, are arguments, all-alive and all-welcome, by 
which every thing rational within us is addressed and 
convinced. Here is demonstration. In the light thus 
shed around us, doubt, hesitation, apprehension vanish. 
We stand erect, strong, expectant, on ground clearly 
defined, well established, and abounding with the fruits 
of paradise. 

The evidence in question, the conviction already de- 
scribed, is, through faith, diffused around us. Amidst the 
relations of life we are bound by various ties to our fellows 
— the members of the human family. We are connected 
with them intimately, vitally, indissolubly. We are con- 
tinually exerting upon them an influence more or less 
powerful, as we are brought more or less fully into sym- 
pathy and cooperation with them, and as our character is 
more or less distinguished for strength and decision. In 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



317 



one way and in another, we are thus impressing upon 
them our own characteristics. If, then, the ideas, princi- 
ples, laws of the kingdom of heaven illuminate our hearts 
and shine through our history, the sacred light we shall 
be as little able as disposed to confine to ourselves — it 
will reach our fellows. Our aims and objects, our me- 
thods and spirit, they will be quick and certain to per- 
ceive. They will be aroused to thought, inquiry and 
reflection. The convictions by which we are swayed 
and controlled, they can hardly help weighing and esti- 
mating according to their ability. They can hardly 
fail to perceive the truth, the power, the excellence 
of the principles which have wrought upon us so deci- 
sively and benignantly, purifying the fountains of our 
existence, and making life so sunny and so sweet to 
ourselves and to those around us. If in our various 
intercourse with mankind, in commerce and politics, in 
letters and religion, we are lovingly and loyally true 
to the high claims of order and rectitude, justice and 
philanthropy ; if they see us thus raised to consistency 
and integrity and dignity and blessedness ; see us at 
home, amidst our relations and duties and prospects ; 
how can they resist the influence, how shut out the 
conviction, that " God is God, and Jesus Christ is the Son 
of God ;" that the principles and laws and arrangements 
and designs and overtures and bequests, of the divine 
government are worthy of all complacency, of all con- 
fidence, of all gratitude ? Thus may faith in us be a 
source of " evidence" for others. 

Thus far have I discoursed on faith, as generally and 
comprehensively defined in the text by the Apostle. 
This general definition comprehends and describes 
every instance,' however specific and particular. The 



318 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



grand, the all-important instance, to which with all 
gratitude and reverence we may well refer, may be 
called Christian Faith, This is insisted on in the New 
Testament as altogether essential to our improvement 
and welfare ; as a condition of salvation, universal and 
never to be waived. Now the ideas, principles, laws, 
which are essential to the divine character and the 
divine government, enter most vitally into whatever 
characterizes Jesus Christ. In his life they live — in 
their life he lives, altogether royally. From his per- 
sonality and office, these principles can by no means 
be separated ; from their sovereign influence he can by 
no means be withdrawn. They shine through him ; 
he illustrates them ; they are the blood of his heart, 
the breath of his nostrils, the strength of his arm. He 
is every where and in all things, their heroic champion 
— their royal representative. The faith that subjects 
us to their influence brings us under his control. The 
exercise and the result are one and the same. In be- 
lieving on his name, in submitting to his authority, we 
yield to their high claims ; in yielding to their high 
claims, we submit to his authority and believe on his 
name. In describing the particular instance, the Apostle 
need not, as he did not, depart from the general defi- 
nition. Abel and Abraham and Isaiah and Hosen, 
with their brethren of the Old Testament, exercised the 
same faith, occupied the same ground, belonged to the 
same family as John and James and Paul, with their 
brethren of the New Testament. The same ideas they 
all made the model of their character ; to the same 
principles they all maintained allegiance ; to the same 
laws they all yielded obedience. They are all in- 
stances and examples of faith universal and of faith 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



S19 



Christian. It is not essential to liis welfare, that a child 
of Adam should be able to spell the name or read the 
history of Jesus Christ ; it is essential to his welfare, 
absolutely, exclusively, eternally, that he should loyally 
bow to the supremacy of the principles which are the 
soul and substance, the life and power of the Messiah 
and the Messiahship. Thus the assurance, that " he 
who belie veth on the Son hath life" and the decla- 
ration. l - He that feareth God and worketh righteous- 
ness is accepted'' of heaven, have one and the same 
meaning — are to be applied to the same names for the 
same purposes. 

It is now time to turn from the positive, with all its 
significance and beauty, to the negative, however chill- 
ing and repulsive— -from Faii/i to Infidelity. Those who 
are instigated by the one, and those who are inspired 
by the other, occupy in some respects common ground. 
They were constructed on the same principles and 
placed under the same relations, beneath the authority 
of the same laws. Both the one and the other, through 
a necessity as deep as the foundation of their existence, 
recognize the same obligations, and acknowledge that 
they ought to be conformed to the same standard. 
Both the one and the other speak of order, rectitude, 
justice, as worthy of universal complacency and prac- 
tice. The infidel no less than the believer is loud in 
eulogy of the divine arrangements and the divine re- 
quisitions. And if he could yield to the one and con- 
form to the other with the consent of his appetites and 
passions, without self-denial and without inconvenience, 
he might be in action what he is in speculation. But 
he cannot be true to his own convictions — cannot rise 
to consistency, integrity, fidelity — cannot amidst the 



320 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



activities of life maintain his allegiance to the Messiali, 
without effort and suffering — without exposing himself 
to suspicion, reproach and various embarrassments. 
He therefore refuses to put himself, deed- wise, under 
the control of principles which, word- wise, he acknow- 
ledges to be divine in their origin, obligatory and 
healthful in all their bearings and tendencies. And 
thus he separates himself from the believer, and plunges 
into the slough of infidelity. In this very thing — in re- 
fusing to put himself under the sovereign control of the prin- 
ciples and laws on which the Creator as Creator, and the 
Redeemer as Redeemer, acted, his infidelity consists. This, 
exactly this, in all its absurdity, deformity and malig- 
nity, is it — it verily — the very thing — which God and 
nature hold up to universal abhorrence and execration. 
This, wherever you may find it, within or without the 
Church ; however you may find it, baptized or unbap- 
tized, with open face or beneath a mask, is infidelity. 

The infidel, as an infidel, denies, that for ourselves 
the tendency of earnest, resolute efforts to maintain 
among men the principles of the divine government 
can be healthful. — We thus set ourselves, in thought, 
purpose, endeavor, over against a great majority of oui 
fellows in direct opposition. The attitude we thus as- 
sume implies, it is alleged, that we reckon ourselves 
wiser, better, stronger than they ; that we are entitled 
in opposition to them to general encouragement, confi- 
dence and cooperation. "We thus set ourselves above 
those who occupy the highest places, and make the 
most prominent figures in the various circles into which 
mankind is divided. We refuse to bow to the author- 
ity of the loftiest ecclesiastics, the most celebrated phi- 
losophers, the most eminent statesmen. The vaunted 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 321 

wisdom of ages and of nations we pronounce stark 
folly. Examples the most illustrious, usages of high, 
antiquity and wide prevalence, precedents of high ori- 
gin and pretensions, we set aside as equally absurd and 
mischievous. From the public opinion, the general 
sentiment, the ways which mankind generally pursue, 
we stand aloof as if they were repulsive and hurtful. 
Without gaining the consent of our fellows, we put 
ourselves, right earnestly and gratefully, under the 
guidance and control of the principles and laws of the 
divine government. The high claims of truth, order 
and rectitude, in all their applications, the believer re- 
solutely asserts both for himself and for others. He 
here makes no compromises. He never attempts to 
provide for any exigency, however pressing, at the ex- 
pense of the principles to which he has sworn alle- 
giance. He insists upon practising what he admires 
in the abstract. Thus among his fellows he takes his 
place in the small minority, or perhaps stands up alone, 
with few or none to encourage and assist him. — In all 
this, the infidel affirms that he is ill-advised and awry, 
welcoming to his bosom unhealthful influences. He 
is opinionated, self-sufficient, exclusive, arrogant, cen- 
sorious. In his relations to others, he is dark, sour, 
morose — full of the eccentric and the singular. Thus 
his stern, unyielding adherence to the principles of the 
divine government has made him an exile and an out- 
law from his own mother's children ! Something like 
this, the infidel Pliny alleged against the primitive 
Christians. According to him, it was no matter how 
regardful they might be of the prerogatives of God and 
the rights of man ; they did not conform themselves 
to the general sentiment and to popular usages ; and 
14* 



322 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



though they refused to do so out of regard to the dic- 
tates of conscience and the demands of consistency, 
they ought, so he affirmed, to be punished as arrogant, 
exclusive, censorious ! I have seen a religious teacher, 
and those who encouraged and supported him, men 
and women, flouted, reproached, rejected by those who 
had promised to cheer and to aid them ; and all, for no 
other reason than their avowed and steadfast adherence 
to the principles on which the kingdom of heaven is 
founded. They were held up to general suspicion and 
abhorrence as self-righteous, exclusive, pharisaical ! 
And when troop after troop of the professed friends of 
freedom were, not many years ago, led off by the in 
trigue and impudence of practised demagogues to anoint 
as their leader and champion a most profligate and un 
scrupulous apologist and supporter of American slav 
ery, the few who maintained their integrity, and ex 
posed and denounced the wholesale apostasy which 
threatened to swallow them up, were described as a 
knot of Pharisees ! Thus the infidelity of thousands 
betrays itself, in treating a steadfast adherence to prin 
ciple as darkening one's character and crippling one's 
powers. 

But whether efforts to maintain among men the di- 
vine authority be or be not healthful in their bearing 
upon the character of the loyal, infidelity denies that 
such efforts can be practicable in such a world as we are 
now connected with. The aims and methods, the ob- 
jects and arrangements and endeavors, which every 
where generally prevail, are flagrantly in conflict with 
the principles of the divine government. The names 
of Truth, Order, Eectitude, are often on the tongues 
of men, as worthy of all complacency and veneration ; 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



re o 



but the ideas and laws which these names naturally 
suggest, almost all men regard as a disturbing force in 
the midst of their plans and exertions. They dream 
that the interests which they most fondly cherish re- 
quire them to promote, or at least to excuse and endure 
falsehood, disorder and injustice — not under their own 
names, perhaps, but under disguises cunningly applied. 
They act accordingly in politics, commerce, business ; 
they decry and traduce whatever belongs to virtue but 
the names and honors to which it is entitled ; and, 
leaving out the name, practise vice under such forms 
and descriptions as may most gratify their taste or suit 
their convenience. The divine prerogatives and hu- 
man rights, all except their names, they trample wan- 
tonly and recklessly under foot, under names which 
naturally describe what He abhors and resists. They 
bow down to the usurper, and by various artifices and 
expedients practise and commend the veriest devil- 
worship that ever disgraced the infernal pit. They 
call wisdom folly, and folly wisdom. They put 
strength for weakness, and weakness for strength. 
Holiness they decry as sin, and sin they magnify as 
holiness. And in all this they are very greatly the 
majority. As such, they impudently attempt to utter 
wisdom, wield power, assert authority. They intro- 
duce, under sacred names, institutions, arrangements, 
usages, which are at war with God and man — at war 
with every thing venerable in heaven and lovely upon 
the earth. And they arrogantly threaten to annihilate 
whatever may offer to expose and resist them. And 
this, infidelity denies that it is practicable to attempt. 
Endeavors in any such direction cannot succeed — must 
be as fruitless as they are toilsome. They involve a 



324 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



waste of strength. Why should we throw away in- 
fluence, reputation, whatever makes our hearts hopeful 
and our hands effective ? Why should we not adjust 
ourselves to the world as we find it, and join our fel- 
low-men in accomplishing what, right or wrong, we 
know them to be intent upon ? Why should we not 
throw ourselves upon the current, and swim with the 
multitude down the stream, without inquiring whither 
thus we may be bound ? Nothing else is practicable : 
in nothing else can we hope for success. 

In conversation with a professed Christian in New- 
York, prominent in his own sect and circle, I ventured 
to refer to the introduction of " respect of persons/' 
the cord of caste, the negro-pew, into the churches 
around us, as absurd, wicked, mischievous. He had 
not a word to say in defence of such an outrage on 
Christian decency. But then, the thing must be en- 
dured — must be yielded to in our religious relations ; 
for, however wrong in itself it might be, and however 
injurious in all its bearings, it was of no use, in the 
face and eyes of popular prejudices, confirmed and 
commended by established usage, to attempt in any 
such things to conform to the principles of the Gospel. 
Nothing could be effected. Why, in church-arrange- 
ments more than elsewhere, waste our strength upon 
the impracticable ? I remember well how his words 
shocked and stunned me. The fumes of brimstone 
could hardly have been more suffocating. I saw and 
felt, that under a fair construction, this was their re- 
volting meaning : It is not practicable, in New- York, 
to worship God, to believe in Jesus, to enter the king- 
dom of heaven ! No prudent man w^ill exert himself 
in any such direction ! 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



325 



Not many years ago, I read an account of a religious 
teacher, given on some imposing occasion, by an emi- 
nent ecclesiastic, as a note of warning to any hearer 
who might be rash enough to cleave to the true, the 
right, and the good, in whatever channel the general 
sentiment might flow, and whatever the clamor of an 
imperious, headlong majority might demand. The 
name which he held up as a beacon was once, he 
affirmed, repeated far and near with marked admira- 
tion. In a city not far from his residence, great num- 
bers would once rush together to listen, all-attentive 
and grateful, to the lessons of wisdom which he might 
inculcate. No public speaker was received with 
stronger marks of popular favor. But how is it now ? 
demanded our ecclesiastic. Why he, who, as a public 
teacher, had been so loudly cheered, and warmly en- 
couraged, now finds himself every where exposed to 
reproach or neglect ! He can no longer win the smiles 
— he cannot even gain the ear — of those who once 
thought him worthy of confidence and cooperation ! 
Why, in the city already alluded to, he could now 
draw together, no matter on what occasion, scarcely 
thirty hearers, black,, red and white faces, all fully 
reckoned ! And to what is all this owing ? Why, 
simply to this : that in vindicating the prerogatives of 
God and the rights of man, he so far refused to listen 
to the voice of expediency, and the dictates of pru- 
dence, as to resist popular prejudice and the general 
sentiment. He maintained that God was God, to whose 
authority we were evermore and in all things to bow ; 
and that man was man, whose rights we were ever- 
more, and in all things, to respect, to cherish, to de- 
fend ; and this, earnestly, impressively, consistently. 



326 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



And all this he resolutely and boldly applied to a sys- 
tem of servitude which, though infinitely absurd and 
wicked and murderous, the majority had taken under 
its special patronage. And this, according to our eccle- 
siastic, evinced, example-wise, how vain and fruitless 
it must be to attempt, in such a world as this, to sup- 
port the divine authority in opposition to the preju- 
dices and the clamor of the multitude ! " His reputa- 
tion is obscured, his influence is reduced, his strength 
is gone I" What is the matter ? 44 What evil hath he 
done ?" Why, he sets his mark too high. He de- 
mands too much in behalf of the true, the right, the 
philanthropic. He insists on building up good ex- 
clusively, and on building up " good on good alone." 
He will not allow the usurper to rule over what he 
claims as his own world. He here will consent to no 
compromises. He will have it that God is God, ex- 
clusively, absolutely, universally ; and that obedience, 
confidence, gratitude, are everlastingly his due. Thus, 
by asking too much, he is denied every thing ; and 
has, in the general estimation, sunk into imbecility and 
insignificance. Thus must it be with every man who 
attempts to accomplish the impracticable ! 

And why should we make any such attempt ? Such 
is the inquiry which, from the high places of ecclesi- 
astical and political life is, on the gravest occasions, 
and amidst the most weighty responsibilities, obtruded 
on our loathing ears. No such thing, it is affirmed, 
can fairly be demanded of us. We are sent hither to 
accomplish as much good as may for us be possible. 
To do good — that is our business. We must, then, 
have access to our fellows — must be on good terms 
with them — must be able to exert upon their minds 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



327 



feuch an influence as they may welcome. Now, if we 
assail their prejudices, if we expose their faults and 
their follies, if we counteract their designs ; no matter 
how much in accordance with truth and rectitude, no 
matter how truly in response to the dictates of con- 
science, they will close their ears and turn their backs 
upon us. They will regard us with suspicion, appre- 
hension, aversion. How can we do any thing, then, 
for their improvement and welfare ? What good can 
we hope, in the midst of those w r ho are thus affected, 
to accomplish ? Do we not, then, by adhering reso- 
lutely to the principles of the divine government, ex- 
pose ourselves to the guilt of violating the all-compre- 
hensive obligation of our existence, the obligation '"to 
do all the good in our power" ? And in doing good, 
we must not be over-nice in the expedients we may 
employ. AVe are hedged in on ever}' side by evils of 
various magnitudes and different complexions. An 
overwhelming majority of our fellows regard these as 
the only fit instruments of accomplishing whatever 
they may be intent upon. Now, taking the world as 
it is, we must join with those who prefer the less to the 
greater among the evils which, in their exertions, they 
may bring into requisition. Thus, in our aims and en- 
deavors, though we may not exclude, we may lessen 
the guilt and the misery to which mankind are ex- 
posed. This is infidelity, founded on what claims to 
be Christian philosophy. 

In wielding the elective franchise, we are required 
in the Bible to give our countenance and support to 
such only as fear God and work righteousness. We 
are here as truly and earnestly as any where to assert 
the authority of "the only Potentate," and to maintain 



328 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the principles on which his throne reposes. " When 
the righteous are in authority" — to this declaration we 
are fully and gratefully to adjust ourselves — " the peo- 
ple rejoice ; but when the wicked bear rule, they 
mourn." But the eminent and distinguished among 
our theologians, moralists and statesmen, boldly affirm 
that, in such matters, we are to yield to the control of 
circumstances. If the righteous are few and feeble ; 
if the multitude regard them with suspicion and aver- 
sion ; if they cannot command votes enough to raise 
them to positions for which they may be qualified, and 
to which they are entitled, we should " throw away 
our influence" if we gave them our support ! In all 
such cases — and they are continually recurring — we are, 
from among the candidates for office who "stand some 
chance of being elected," to select as rulers such as are 
the least enterprising, daring and active in wickedness. 
Thus we may do good, by preferring bad to worse ! 
An imposing name among our spiritual counsellors ad- 
vises us, if the multitude select only devils for office, 
not to join the minority in supporting truth, order, 
rectitude, as paramount and supreme, but to vote for a 
devil, provided he be less a devil than his fellows ! 

Now, a separation between Jesus Christ and those 
principles which faith reverently embraces, can by no 
means be effected. Where they are preferred to every 
thing else, there his Messiahship is acknowledged, and 
acknowledged in this very preference. Where his Messiah- 
ship is acknowledged, there they are preferred to every 
thing else, and preferred in this very acknowledgment 
As we regard him, so we regard them : as we regard 
them, so we regard him. If we deny that a prompt, 
strict, unyielding adherence to them must exert, every 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



329 



way, a healthful influence, in so doing we deny that it 
can be healthful to put ourselves absolutely and unre- 
servedly under his control. If we deny that it is 
practicable in our sphere of activity to assert their au- 
thority and maintain their ascendency, in so doing we 
deny that it is practicable for us, amidst our tasks and 
trials, to honor his sceptre. If we deny that a con- 
formity to truth, order, rectitude is our highest obliga- 
tion, we deny, in so doing, that we are bound to " seek 
first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness" — 
above all things to maintain our allegiance to the 
throne of the Messiah. And this is Infidelity ; 
this, and this only, deserves a name so generally, so 
vehemently, so loudly abhorred. Those who are 
guilty of this, and because they are guilty of this, are 
to be stigmatized as infidels — those only and those 
always. It is appropriately and exclusively their de- 
signation and description. No matter what professions 
they make, what places they hold, what titles they 
bear, they are infidels. They may wear long faces, 
offer long prayers, preach long sermons ; they may 
" compass sea and land to make a proselyte may be 
all astir, and make a great ado about " the salvation of 
souls they may seem to be zealous, magnanimous, 
heroic in extending on every hand the limits of Christ- 
endom ; no matter, they are infidels. It is high time 
things were called by their right names, and restored 
each to its proper place. Infidelity — foul, absurd, ma- 
lignant — has worked its way into the high places of 
ecclesiastical existence, and there tosses up its nose in 
contempt, or gnashes its teeth in hatred of whatever 
may deserve the name of loyalty — of a true, earnest, 
steadfast adherence to the principles of the divine gov- 



330 SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 

eminent. It chatters, and babbles, and brays about 
"the Attractions of the Cross," while it scorns the 
thought of self-denial and self-sacrifice in asserting the 
significance and authority of whatever may give the 
Great Sacrifice its worth and efficacy ! From such wry 
faces, put on to cover up such rotten hearts, may God 
grant us good deliverance ! 

In review of the train of thought pursued in this 
discourse, it may well be affirmed, that to make faith the 
condition of salvation is most fit and natural ; is every 
way, and in the highest degree, indicative of icisdom and 
magnanimity. By some in the high places of letters 
and science this is denied. Belief, they say, is the 
necessary result of evidence. If this be afforded, that 
cannot be withheld. If the mission of Jesus Christ to 
the human family be confirmed and commended by 
appropriate credentials, how can his authority be called 
in question ? If it is denied by any, some want of 
evidence must be supposed. All this, according to an 
established law, under which all men are placed. Why, 
then, should faith be made a condition of salvation ? 
Belief is not a matter of choice ; it is yielded or with- 
held by necessity. It is not so much an act as a result. 
Why should it be made the hinge on which our salva- 
tion may turn ? Such inquiries, so stated, imply an 
impeachment of the wisdom and goodness of the Au- 
thor of Christianity. And if faith were what such 
inquiries indicate, how could any such impeachment 
be repelled ? 

But faith does not consist in our subscribing to any 
doctrine, assenting to any proposition, admitting any 
conclusion, as the result of evidence addressed to the 
understanding, as a matter of theory and speculation. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



331 



" With, the heart, man belie veth unto righteousness." 
The very heart of his personality, the soul of his soul, 
every thing human within him, faith brings into 
vigorous exercise. He acts characteristically, decis- 
ively, effectively. He makes the ideas of truth, order, 
rectitude, beauty- — the essential elements of the cha- 
racter and office of the Messiah — the model to which 
he conforms himself in his aims, methods, exertions ; 
the model on which he forms and fashions whatever 
may belong to his habits and history. To the au- 
thority of the principles of the divine government, he 
meekly, earnestly, gratefully bows. To those princi- 
ples he adjusts himself, as the great end of his exist- 
ence, the grand object of his pursuit — he adjusts him- 
self in the entire sphere of his activity. To the laws 
of the kingdom of heaven he yields a cordial and 
steadfast obedience ; and this at whatever inconveni- 
ence, at whatever expense, at whatever hazard. And 
thus, whatever is human in the nature he has inherited 
is brought into requisition. Thus he comes into har- 
mony with the objects and relations with which he is 
connected. Thus he avails himself of all the agencies, 
influences and powers which are adapted to the wel- 
fare of mankind. Thus he is restored to himself, to 
his brethren, to the universal Father. Thus he takes 
his proper place amidst the works of God, and becomes 
an harmonious note in the anthem of joy and praise 
which the universe is continually pouring upon the 
ear of Eternal Wisdom and Love. Thus, as only thus 
he can, he appropriates to himself the elements of 
salvation. 

What ! is it not a fit and natural condition of salva- 
tion to require us to be true to ourselves ; to honor the 



332 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



convictions which have fastened themselves upon our 
heart-strings ; to obey the laws on which our nature 
was founded, and by which it is vitalized and upheld ; 
to be in history what we are in structure ; to put our- 
selves under the control of the Infinite Wisdom, the 
protection of the Almighty Power, amidst the smiles 
of Everlasting Love ? Can a more obvious duty, can 
a higher prerogative, can a richer privilege be de- 
scribed or imagined ? Is it not wise — is it not mag- 
nanimous, in the highest degree, to encourage and 
assist us in thus laying hold of our birthright ; in thus 
appropriating the largest rewards we are capable of en- 
joying ? To the word, " He that belie veth shall be 
saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned/' 
thought, reflection, philosophy, return a clear, distinct, 
and emphatic echo. " He that hath an ear," then, 
"let him hear as he would be wise, strong, blessed, 

"LET HIM HEAR." 



The train of thought in the following Discourse was 
presented at the funeral of a youth, who was suddenly 
cut down amidst his bereaved relatives and friends. 
To my own spirit, the conclusions which it urges on 
our acceptance, are invigorating and refreshing. I 
commend them earnestly and affectionately to the 
readers of this volume 



THE SAME IN SUNSHINE AND IN 
STORM. 



" The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name 
of the Lord."— Job 1 : 21. 

This exclamation burst from quivering lips. The 
Patriarch had been pierced through and through with 
the sharpest anguish. He had been robbed of his 
property and bereaved of his children. A loathsome 
disease had poisoned his blood and crippled his ener- 
gies. The wife of his bosom put forth her hand, not 
to sustain and soothe him, but to push him headlong 
from the brink of desperation. He seemed to be en- 
veloped in clouds, enshrouded in darkness, pelted by 
storms. Appearances were frightfully against him. 
Like the reptile surrounded by fire, he could only lift 
his eyes upward. And so he did. Anew, he betook 
himself to the divine presence and perfections. There 
he sought and there he found a refuge. In the full- 
ness of his stricken heart, he exclaimed: "The Lord 
gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the 
name of the Lord." 

It may be well for us amidst the sobs and tears of 
this occasion, to study the import, weigh the signifi- 
cance, and appropriate the spirit of the assurance by 
which the Patriarch was quickened and encouraged. 
We, too, are overtaken by bereavement, sadden and 
heavy. Darkness and the storm are upon us. Why 
should we not lift up our eyes to the source whence 
the Patriarch derived consolation ? Why should we 
not join him in affirming, as I understand him to 
affirm, that both in bestowing and withholding — in im- 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



parting and withdrawing ichat may be familiar to our 
thoughts ) dear to our affections, and promotive of our de- 
signs, the paternal, the sovereign Soul demands and 
deserves in the largest measure, our complacency, our con- 
fidence and our homage t 

There is nothing in the history of mankind more 
clear and certain — nothing of higher import — nothing 
of more varied, vital and powerful bearings, than the 
fact that we, as human creatures, are subject to Law. 
Under its authority from our childhood we have all 
along recognized, as necessary and universal, the inti- 
mate connection of cause with effect — the essential op- 
position of right to wrong — of truth to falsehood. The 
ideas of causation, of order, of justice, of beauty, were 
very early revealed to our consciousness. They there 
assert their existence, manifest their presence, and urge 
their claims. They exert there a sovereign influence. 
They address us in regal style — authoritatively. In a 
" still small voice," which penetrates the depths of our 
being, they utter their commands and prohibitions. 
This fact enters most deeply into human experience — 
pervades and qualifies every paragraph of human his- 
tory. It imparts to it its high significance. Such is 
Man. Any description of human nature, which ignores 
or slights this most characteristic feature, is radically 
defective — it is libelous. INTow, in the laws which thus 
assert their authority, the Creator lives. Their legis- 
lative character and influence they derive from his pre- 
sence. They are an assertion and manifestation of his 
will ; of his will as the Creator. These ideas are at- 
tributes of his character. They are a manifestation of 
his majesty. In them we recognize " his image," im- 
pressed upon, and shining through, the nature we have 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



335 



inlieritecl. They are the basis and substance of the 
Eternal Throne, established in the depths of our con- 
sciousness. They are a reflection, clear and certain, of 
the face of the true Father. 

The laws which pervade and animate and charac- 
terize our humanity, manifest their presence and assert 
their authority universally. They are elements and 
attributes of the all-creative, all-controlling Will. In 
them the Godhead lives, by them is revealed, through 
them reigns supreme. They are the strength of his 
arm, the beauty of his face, the basis of his throne. 
They shine through all his designs, works and ar- 
rangements. Creation, with all its objects and rela- 
tions — the scheme of Providence, so comprehensive, 
intricate and far-reaching, are an utterance and expres- 
sion of these laws. The strongest hero and the weakest 
insect are alike under their jurisdiction. All actions 
and all events every where sustain to them vital rela- 
tions. They are the legislative breath — the plastic 
voice of the One Grod — the Sovereign Unity. They 
bind all things every where into a well-adjusted, har- 
monious Whole. 

Amidst these laws, as ourselves vitalized, energized 
and upheld by their presence, we are placed. They 
are the beating heart and the flowing blood within us. 
They are the life-breath in our nostrils. They are the 
constructive principle on which we are formed and 
fashioned — by which we are quickened and invigor- 
ated. In adjusting ourselves to their demands— in 
obeying their requisitions, we welcome to our inmost 
selves their lofty import — their hallowed significance : 
to ourselves, as armed with active powers — to our- 
selves as capable of choice — to ourselves as adapted to 



336 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSED 



reasonable exertion — to ourselves as entitled to a place, 
however obscure, in human history — to ourselves as 
clothed with, the gravest responsibilities, and sum- 
moned to the highest achievements. The spirit which 
pervades them, thus penetrates the depths of our being 
— pierces to the most secret recesses of our conscious- 
ness. It freely mingles with all that is human within 
us ; with our thoughts, our affections, our imaginings, 
our resolutions, our endeavors. The spirit of these 
laws we inspire and cherish and express. We iden- 
tify ourselves with it in the whole compass of its au- 
thority and influence — in its high demands and broad 
bearings and large results. The law lives in us by its 
authority, and we live in it by our obedience. It be- 
comes the vital principle of our activity, and we be- 
come, in our aims and habits and achievements, an 
incarnation of its spirit and tendencies. It is at one 
with us by mingling itself with our life-blood, and we 
are at one with it in welcoming its claims, asserting its 
authority, and carrying out, each in his own task- 
garden, its designs. 

Thus, by adjusting ourselves in our aims and exer- 
tions to the constructive principles of human nature, 
which are the very selfhood of our existence, we iden- 
tify ourselves with whatever may be built up and 
vitalized by their presence. And they are boundless 
in their influence, and universal in their authority. 
They are the essence of all — that is, the life of all, that 
lives. To welcome their presence, and bow to their 
authority, is to unite ourselves most intimately to the 
living Universe — is to identify ourselves with whatever 
has any where weight and worth — with whatever is 
bright and beautiful — with whatever is substantial, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



337 



grand and permanent. We thus acquire actual pos- 
session of all that may be adapted to invigorate and 
enrich and refresh. We carry in our bosoms a title- 
deed, signed, sealed and recorded on high, of the starry 
heavens, of the unfathomable oceans, of the earth, 
broad, green and fruitful. Truth, order, justice, under 
all their manifestations, and with all their bearings, 
tendencies and influence, we make our own by availing 
ourselves of their overtures. We appropriate wisdom 
by heeding its counsels, and power by seeking protec- 
tion under its shield, and beauty by kindling into rap- 
tures beneath its radiance. The Father we enjoy in 
the exercise of the filial, and our brothers by cherish- 
ing the fraternal. We make God ours by subserving 
his designs, and man, by promoting his welfare. Thus 
our experience illustrates and confirms the broad de- 
claration of the Apostle, "All things are yours''' — all 
contribute, directly or indirectly, affirmatively or ne- 
gatively, to your improvement and welfare ; all men, 
whatever their character, condition and prospects ; all 
things, however related and however employed ; what- 
ever the Cross of Christ symbolizes, and whatever the 
throne of God overshadows. The same Apostle, with 
a confidence bordering on triumph, assures us, that " to 
love God" — to give him the place to which he is en- 
titled in our thoughts, affections a*nd endeavors, is to 
take possession of the universe — to bring "all things" 
into subserviency to our welfare ; is to be wise, strong, 
blest to the utmost limit of our capacities. 

The inward and the outward — the invisible and the 
visible — the spiritual and the material, are mutually 
most intimately related to each other. They are natu- 
rally in the fullest correspondence, the one with the 
15 



338 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES* 



other. Principle is the soul of phenomena, and pheno- 
mena are the embodiment and expression of principle. 
TThatever in the whole compass of nature lies within 
the sphere of the animal — whatever addresses itself to 
the senses, is the law in manifestation — announcing 
itself in " appearances/' He who responds to its de- 
mands — who is in harmony with its requisitions, will 
exert himself unceasingly to translate it, fitly and 
fully, into action. In his sphere of responsibility he 
will impress it on every enterprise, method and en- 
deavor. He will be every way earnestly law-abiding. 
And his spirit will impress itself upon his body — will 
look through his eyes, speak through his lips, and 
work with his hands. It will diffuse health, strength 
and beauty through all his structure. It will impart 
to his material fabric worth and dignity. Amidst the 
useful arts, nature will admit him to her bosom — will 
explain to him her mysteries — will give him free ac- 
cess to, and the fall use of, her forces. In the field of 
agriculture, he will diligently study and obey the laws 
which there assert their authority. He will seek their 
guidance, and welcome their control in preparing the 
soil, in selecting and scattering the seed, and in culti- 
vating the plants he may be intent on producing. He 
will impress upon his broad acres the principles by 
which the corn gro^vs, the flower blooms, and the fruit 
ripens. And the rich harvests which he gathers, will 
bear testimony to his loyalty. Or, if he should be oc- 
cupied with any of the mechanic arts, he will seek suc- 
cess by the same methods. He will translate the con- 
structive principles, which preside over his sphere of 
effort, as fitly and fully as he can in the productions of 
his skill and enterprise. The spirit he breathes, and 



SEKMOXS Als'D DISCOURSES. 839 

the habits he maintains, will be happily adapted to im- 
provements and inventions. He walks habitually and 
reverently in the light of law ; and of all men, must 
be best prepared to understand its various applications. 
His obedience to the laws with which he has long been 
familiar, cannot but fit him for the discovery of any 
such as have not yet been revealed. And his ready 
and grateful adherence to any law, in the various ap- 
plications of it, which have already been made, cannot 
but qualify him for other applications, which had not 
before been thought of. Thus, amidst human relations 
and exertions, he will be continually extending and 
strengthening the province of law — will be building 
up, throughout the compass of his influence, the king- 
dom of heaven. Or, he may be especially devoted to 
literature and science. The riches of the one, and the 
refinements of the other, he may be resolutely intent 
on appropriating. In the efforts which he may make, 
he will exert himself, characteristically. He will wel- 
come the condition, on which here as elsewhere real 
and decided progress may be expected. Every acqui- 
sition he may make he will moisten with his own blood. 
He will act upon the principles which he may admit, 
and embody the conclusions he may reach, in the 
habits he may form. The doctrines, to which he may 
be called to subscribe, he will study and estimate in 
the light of their actual bearings, on the relations and 
duties amidst which he may be placed. He will ex- 
tend and mature his knowledge " of the Will of God ? ' 
by " doing it" — by translating it into veritable history, 
and that history his own. Thus his study will become 
a holy of holies, and every attainment a consecrated 
offering. He will be a ruler among men — will hold 



340 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the place and exert the influence of a guide and pro- 
tector : and this, whatever attitude in their relations to 
him they may assume. They may regard him with 
complacency or suspicion, with confidence or distrust, 
with reverence or aversion. They may accept or re- 
ject the benefits he offers. They may place him on a 
throne or in a dungeon. This is their affair, and can- 
not materially affect the power he wields or the influ- 
ence he exerts. As he is himself whatever they may 
be, so he will exert himself whatever they may do. 
As he is in harmony with the principles and designs 
and forces of the Eternal Throne, so, whether his fel- 
lows extol or decry him, aid or resist him, he will be a 
clear and certain medium through which sovereign and 
controlling influences will reach and pervade the sphere 
of his activity. No matter what may be the badges of 
his office — the symbols of his authority. The seat he 
occupies will be a throne — the implement he works 
with, a sceptre. Whether he grope in a dungeon or 
delve in a ditch or shine in a palace, he is equally him- 
self — a ruler among men. He is "a king unto God 
and reigns upon the earth." 

Thus "the Lord gives ; w in the powers he imparts ; 
in the relations he establishes ; in the opportunities he 
affords ; in the arrangements he maintains ; in the en- 
couragements he offers ; in the tendencies he upholds ; 
in the results he provides. We put ourselves into atti- 
tude as his beneficiaries in the exertions we may make 
in any sphere of legitimate activity. He honors his 
position as our Benefactor in making our efforts effect- 
ive. The significance and worth of the benefits we 
may receive are greatly enhanced by the influence 
which any such acquisition of them exerts. We be- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 341 

come more and more healthful, vigorous and attractive 
the more we thus appropriate the fruits of the divine 
beneficence. We become more and more maturely and 
beautifully ourselves, the more freely we drink at the 
fountain of his goodness. Thus recognized and main- 
tained, our dependence upon him, instead of rendering 
us idle, weak and self-indulgent, will open the way for 
the exercise and development of our powers — for high 
aims, lofty aspirations and heroic achievements. " The 
Lord gives ;" gives on conditions and by methods, 
which make his gifts worthy of his great heart — wor- 
thy of himself as our all-provident, all-gracious, all- 
faithful Father. 

The divine beneficence is to be measured, not so 
much by the gifts from on high, which mankind ap- 
propriate, multiplied, various and rich as they are, as 
by the benefits from that exhaustless source, which are 
placed within their reach and urged on their accept- 
ance. Thus estimated, the Creator's liberality is mag- 
nificent, immeasurable. He has provided for our wel- 
fare on the grandest scale — with a sublime munificence. 
His arrangements he has most wisely and generously 
adapted to the comprehensive, complicated, far-reach- 
ing nature, by which we are distinguished. He offers, 
most significantly and inspiringly, to train us up, each 
in his own field of exertion, to be heroes — to be every 
way wise, strong, magnanimous, blessed. The earth 
he manifestly designed for a paradise — a garden of 
blessings — a blessed garden. So it appears, clearly and 
fully, when surveyed in the light of the tendencies by 
which it is pervaded. These comprehend and reveal 
the designs of the Creator. With these tendencies, and 
as himself adapted to them, man was intrusted with 



842 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the planet on which his residence was fixed. Had he 
but been true to his responsibilities ! Had he but 
been upright, loyal, faithful ! Had he but responded, 
filially and gratefully, to the heavenly Yoice, which 
every where addressed him ! Had he but yielded to 
the natural claims of truth, justice, honor, in wielding 
his powers and laying out his resources ! Had he, 
amidst all his relations and in all his endeavors, rever 
enced the prerogatives of God and respected the rights 
of his fellows ! What would not his home have be- 
come — so safe, so commodious, so beautiful ! What 
would not he have become, individually and socially — 
in solitude or among his brothers ! He would have 
become every way in form, feature and bearing a Man 
— with a Man's prerogatives and privileges and enjoy- 
ments ! Reflecting the image of God, the cherished 
child of God — quickened, cheered, enriched with 
tokens of his presence and pledges of his love ! The 
heavens and the earth would have been to each other 
as the Voice and its Echo ; and the glories of the one 
would have been reflected in the beauties of the other ! 
u The Lord hath given" in whatever he hath provided 
and offered. Who, then, can fitly estimate or fully 
describe the extent of his beneficence ? 

But the "Lord taketh away also." And this, with- 
out the slightest change of character, principle, method 
or manifestation. He evermore and alwaj^s reveals 
himself as the soul and substance, the source and sup- 
port of all truth and wisdom— of all justice and beauty 
— of all benignity and love. Amidst the loyal and 
disloyal — among those who adore and those who exe- 
crate, He presents the strongest claims to veneration 
and confidence — to high homage and hearty obedience. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



343 



And while lie remains as forever he will remain Him- 
self, these claims will address themselves with undi- 
minished force to the very heart of our humanity. 
Their bearing on the throne of God and the welfare 
of man is equally direct and full — equally powerful 
and benign. To resist them must be to fall foul of 
ourselves — to trample under foot every thing hallowed 
in our nature, attractive in our condition, bright in our 
prospects. It must be to set at naught the essential 
elements of our existence. It must be suicidally to set 
upon all that is human within us — to stab at the heart 
of our personality. We cannot thus violate the laws 
of our existence without forfeiting whatever good our 
birthright may involve — without spurning conditions 
on which we may become and exert and enjoy our- 
selves. To renounce our allegiance to the Eternal 
Throne is to rush upon all the embarrassments and ex- 
posures and horrors of outlawry ; is to become " fugi- 
tives and vagabonds" amidst the scenes of our native 
country — upon our own natural inheritance. We can- 
not reject the counsels of wisdom without becoming 
foolish ; the protection of power without sinking into 
impotence ; the yearnings of love without finding our- 
selves desolate and heart-broken. All things within 
us will conspire with all things around us to thrust us 
into the depths of degradation and despair. 

Those who violate the laws by which their being is 
pervaded, and which pervade all the objects and rela- 
tions around them, assail at the same time the Creator 
and the creature ; and they must abide the conse- 
quences. As these laws spring from the Soul of Unity, 
they must be in full harmony among themselves — 
must mutually imply and involve each other. Diso- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES, 



bedience at one point must open the way for guilt and 
embarrassment at all points. The precepts which the 
disloyal seem to heed, they heed as a gambler shuffles 
his cards. They snatch at the sceptre of God as a tool 
to procure what may promote their interests and gratify 
their passions. Thus do all who take advantage of the 
Divine arrangements to carry forward designs which 
are in conflict with the Divine requisitions. Thus do 
selfish men universally ; the slaves of avarice, sensu- 
ality and ambition. And they are sure to reap just 
such a harvest as the seed they sow naturally produces. 
He who sows the wind must reap the whirlwind. They 
forfeit health, strength and self-possession. They poi- 
son the very fountains of their existence. Their habits 
are at war with the principles on which their nature 
was fashioned. They encourage their appetites and 
passions to domineer over reason and conscience. They 
plunge into excess. They indulge in whatever may 
pamper and glut the animal they idolize. For this 
they lay themselves out— bringing "arm and soul" 
here into requisition. For this they plot and plan — 
wrestle and fight ; rushing down the dark, slippery de- 
clivity with increasing eagerness and rapidity. Of 
course health fails and strength declines. Disorder 
within opens the way for outward disorders — for dis- 
ease in this form or that — in one degree or another. 
We cannot rise to self-possession while we treat our 
very selfhood — the soul and substance of our person- 
ality — with neglect or contempt or violence. How can 
we recognize our relations and honor our responsibili- 
ties and promote our welfare, while we decry and re- 
sist the principles on which all things are founded and 
to which all things are adjusted ! We necessarily be- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



345 



come blind and impotent — borne along, we know not 
why or whither, by impulses which we do not try to 
understand and do not care to resist. At variance in 
our aims and exertions with our natural relations, we 
can hardly avoid falling into conflict with each other — 
undermining and over-reaching — worrying and devour- 
ing each other. Thus, we shall pervert what was de- 
signed for our benefit into embarrassments and annoy- 
ances and nuisances— into gins and traps and halters. 

Thus " the Lord taketh away." The wise and health- 
ful arrangements, to which, as a high privilege, he re- 
quires us to adjust ourselves, we, by ignoring or reject- 
ing, make an occasion of contracting guilt, and incur- 
ring misery. Thus we assail ourselves suicidally. The 
food that should nourish we transmute into deadly 
poison — we lay hands on our own personality — trample 
on our best interests — rush on our own undoing — we 
throw away what might enlighten and strengthen and 
enrich us. Thus and so it is, and only thus and so, 
"the Lord taketh away." 

But it is time, high time, that this discussion were 
illustrated and enlivened and confirmed by a reference 
to the facts of human history. These demand and will 
repay whatever attention and study we may lay out 
upon them in the two classes in which they are ar- 
ranged and presented. The first class comprises facts, 
derived from the history of true, wise and strong men 
— of loyal spirits. At the head of these stands Jesus 
of Nazareth, as their most significant, cherished, 
venerated name — their royal representative. He was 
intensely, grandly, beautifully human — every inch a 
man, in whom our nature shone forth in full symmetry 
— genuine, strong, ripe. Human relations bound him, 
15* 



346 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



fitly and fully, to all the various objects which lie 
within the compass of our being. The obligations, 
necessities, opportunities, encouragements, exposures 
and prospects, which belong to our race universally, it 
was his to recognize in thought, word and deed — in all 
that at any time, and in any way might reach and af- 
fect him. And his character under the principles of the 
Divine Government was powerfully positive — w r as em- 
phatically affirmative. From the commencement to 
the conclusion of his earthly career, his heart beat in 
full harmony w T ith the Divine requisitions — responded 
promptly and vigorously to every demand of high 
Heaven. His allegiance to the Eternal Throne he 
maintained as the all-engrossing object of thought, 
affection, endeavor, enjoyment. Obedience to God com- 
prehends and describes every page and paragraph of 
his most wonderful history. And to him, therefore, as 
the soul and representative of the class which, amidst 
human relations, assert and honor the divine authority, 
we may refer as confirming on the side of loyalty the 
conclusions which this discourse commends. His 
claims on the complacency and confidence of mankind, 
all modest and unambitious as he was, he clearly un- 
derstood and fairly estimated. He was well aware 
that he was regarded by the majority with such sus- 
picion and aversion as only keen spite or deadly ma- 
lignity could generate. To them, his loyalty was a re- 
proof, an indictment, a sentence of damnation. His 
presence, however silent and unobtrusive, chilled their 
blood, embarrassed their movements, darkened their 
prospects. It excited their ill nature and sharpened 
their bad temper. They were hotly eager to find some 
defect in his conduct — some blot on his history. For 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 347 

this purpose they armed their optics with the most 
powerful magnifying glasses, which they applied on all 
occasions. Could they but once " entangle him in his 
talk" — " catch something" awry on his lips — surprise 
him in an uncouth attitude — convict him, under no 
matter what construction, of at least some trifling folly, 
some small deviation from the path of rectitude ! Tims 
affected, it was that their ears were pierced by his 
pointed demand : " Which of you convinceth me of 
sin ?" You have pursued me, " laid in wait for me," 
availed yourselves of the arts and intrigues of busy 
spies and impudent eaves-droppers. You have gone 
through thick and thin without scruple or weariness ; 
intent at whatever hazard or expense on seizing on 
your prey. Now, I may well defy you with the de- 
mand, what have you accomplished ? On what occa- 
sion, and in wbat respect, have I neglected duty or 
violated obligation ? "Which of you convinceth me 
of sin ?" 

The Man of Nazareth was deeply consciou \ < f re- 
garding the laws of Heaven with the deepest venera- 
tion and the most intense delight. They were to him 
all-significant and all-beautiful. He derived from them 
the nourishment by which he was sustained and quick- 
ened. He assured his friends who had exerted them- 
selves to provide for his necessities, and who affection- 
ately urged him to partake of the supplies they placed 
within his reach, that it was "his meat to do the will 
of him who sent him," and accomplish the work his 
wisdom had assigned him. Arm and soul he devoted 
— resolutely, wisely, gratefully devoted to the service 
of high Heaven. While occupied with this, he found 
himself encouraged, quickened, refreshed — every way 



348 



SERMONS ASD DISCOURSES. 



blessed. The ground he thus cultivated was as lofty 
and fertile and sightly as the Universe could afford. 
The Heaven of Heavens knows nothing better than 
the service of God. It is an exhaustless, overflowing 
fountain of the purest, richest joy. It is the condition 
of eternal life. It is the very heart of blessedness. 
" There," exclaimed the great Apostle, with his eye 
open on the presence and condition of pure, brave, 
earnest souls in the higher and the highest sphere, 
" There his servants serve him." In these few, simple 
words, he described the essential elements of the high- 
est bliss, as natural and exquisite as it was deep and 
enduring. In accordance with these views, the great 
Nazarene described his own condition during his ter- 
restrial career. As he was loyal amidst rebels, so was 
he blessed in the midst of wretches. They could as 
little prevent his enjoying the divine perfections as 
they could prevent his obeying the divine commands. 
In despite of any artifice they might employ — any vio- 
lence they might inflict, all that was essential in Heaven 
reached his inmost consciousness, and diffused itself 
throughout his whole existence. His enjoyments cor- 
responded with his aspirations and exertions and ac- 
chievements. So he deliberately and plainly affirmed. 
As the " Son of Man," our Head, Model and Treasure, 
he declared himself 4 4 in heaven." Where else could 
he be ? Heaven lived in his life — was vitally present 
in every element and attribute of his great personality 
and sublime history. 

In this, as in all other things, we may regard the 
man of Nazareth as the representative of all true men 
— all loyal souls. John and Paul held his aims, 
breathed his spirit and subserved his designs. They 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



349 



identified themselves with him in the enterprise in 
which he laid out his strength and expended his re- 
sources. They did so, earnestly, wisely and effect- 
ively. . The establishment of the kingdom of heaven 
in the midst of the human family engrossed their 
thoughts, affections and active powers. And they 
were raised to a participation in the prerogatives, pri- 
vileges and prospects, in which he exulted. The lan- 
guage they employed on this subject is sinewy, em- 
phatic, impressive. The strongest words and the bold- 
est figures are all too weak, adequately to describe the 
condition to which they were raised and the prospects 
which were opening before them. Sometimes they 
triumphantly compared what they had relinquished in 
renouncing mere " appearances" with what they had 
acquired in seizing on the substantial and the perma- 
nent ; in giving up idolatry with its pretensions and 
its pageants for the worship of the one all-true and all- 
powerful Spirit ; in preferring the presence and the 
smiles of the Infinite Wisdom to the countenance and 
patronage of the giddy, heartless, headlong multitude. 
They exult in the embarrassments and sufferings in 
which they were thus involved. The one, under its 
best aspects and highest bearings, they count no better 
than "loss" — mere "dung;" the other, a "far more 
exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 

Thus it has always been, thus it is now with all who 
occupy the same ground and pursue the same objects. 
Blessed evermore are loyal souls ! I have studied, 
long and well, whatever was essential and character- 
istic in the conditions in which I have found them 
placed. I have marked with open, earnest eye the 
ways in which they manifested themselves. I have 



350 



SERMOSS AND DISCOURSES, 



seen them in deep obscurity — their claims on the confi- 
dence and respect of their fellows ignored or resisted. 
I have seen them exposed to suspicion, ridicule and 
misrepresentation; their friends " few and far between," 
their apparent resources scanty, their fields of activity 
seemingly narrow, rugged and unproductive. I have 
heard them described as having lost their influence — 
as having forfeited the sympathy and the cooperation 
of the wise and the useful. But I have never seen 
them out of heart, dejected, forlorn. They appear to 
me self-possessed, strong — full of Lope and courage. 
They evidently find society in solitude. They seem to 
listen, delighted, to the music of their own thoughts. 
They can afford to be overlooked, neglected, maligned. 
It is clear and certain, they have resources, abundant 
and unfailing. Blessed evermore are loyal souls ! 

From the history of loyalty let us now turn to the 
annals of Rebellion. Here multiplied facts obtrude 
themselves upon us, to confirm and commend the 
broad conclusion with which we are occupied. The 
effect of trampling on the ordinances of heaven — the 
veritable laws of their own existence — is manifest 
enough from the condition to which the reckless, head- 
long multitude are reduced. "What do they not forfeit 
individually ? Self-possession, the full control and na- 
tural use of their own powers and resources, they never 
acquired. They heedlessly or stubbornly refused to 
comply with the requisite conditions. They will not 
study and obey the principles on which their nature 
was constructed. They yield to the demands of ap- 
petite and the impulse of passion. They put their 
necks under the yoke of the animal of their existence. 
They thus fail to become in any proper sense themselves 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



351 



— fall short of self-possession through a reasonable act- 
ivity — the only way in which it is possible. They 
thus sink to the degradation and wretchedness of vol- 
untary slaves — the most abject and hopeless servitude 
to which they could be reduced. Their thoughts and 
their exertions they confine to the sphere of the senses. 
Lift up your eyes and mark their objects, plans and 
pursuits. Avarice, ambition, sensuality — these are the 
gods they blindly, eagerly, desperately worship. To 
these, without hesitation or scruple, they sacrifice all 
that is ethereal in their nature, and substantial in their 
birthright. They thus reduce themselves to crushing 
poverty and heart-wasting wretchedness. They often 
speak of life as a failure, of their tasks as a drudgery, 
of their prospects as uncertain or repulsive. The de- 
votees of avarice abound on every side. Wherever 
we may go, they are sure to throng us. And they are 
evidently victims. They are manifestly far enough from 
satisfied with the results, whatever they may be, of 
their exertions. With undisputed titles, they fail to 
get possession of their seeming acquisitions. The lean 
hand of poverty reaches them in the midst of their 
hoards. They are often tortured with anxiety —haunted 
by artificial, unreal necessities. Their gold and silver 
turn to dust and ashes in their hands. Sensuality be- 
trays itself as a very slough of embarrassment, imbe- 
cility and disease. Short-lived, feverish pleasures pro- 
duce agonizing and protracted pains. The drunkard 
sacrifices health, reputation ; his bread, his friends, his 
family to the bottle ; and then lies down amidst snakes 
and fiends to die. The debauchee suffers a thousand 
deaths before he reaches his dishonored grave. The 
thunderbolts which the slave of ambition hurls at 



352 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



others, unerringly return with deadly effect upon him- 
self. The Alexanders, the Caesars, the ISTapoleons of 
the earth ; what were they — what are they but strik- 
ing instances of helpless, hopeless wretchedness? AVho, 
that is familiar with the close of their career, can envy 
them the prizes they won — the titles they bore ? 

The diseases, which so widely and frightfully pre- 
vail, originate in the violation of the laws of our exist- 
ence. In multiplied instances this is clear and certain. 
We are able to see the cause in the effect. Such places 
of residence are selected — such modes of living arc 
chosen — such indulgencies are ventured on as are in 
harsh conflict with the principles on which our nature 
was constructed. We see this constantly whatever 
field of observation we may occupy. Crime, under 
almost any form, is at deadly strife with health. The 
influence of error, folly, iniquity often travels down 
from one generation to another, poisoning the blood 
of the children of transgressors. Many a godless pa- 
rent, w^hile busy -with his forbidden pleasures has been 
equally busy at the same time in digging the graves of 
his infected offspring. And then the terrors of death 
are the terrors of violated law. M The sting of death 
is sin" — as a careful observation of tear-drenched facts 
fully evinces. Bad men as such die in embarrassment 
— generally in deep darkness — sometimes in agony. 

And the perplexity and imbecility of transgressors 
in attempting to defend or justify themselves, is truly 
pitiable. They cannot pretend to deny that they are 
amenable at the bar of reason. They answer to the 
summons which calls them there, though with marked 
reluctance. They are consciously occupied with a 
hopeless cause and proceed accordingly. They are 



• 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



353 



driven to rely on such shifts and artifices and expe- 
dients, as cunning may suggest. They rush headlong 
into misrepresentations, confusion and hollow argu- 
mentation. They try to force inferences and premises 
into fellowship with each other, which stand over 
against each other in irreconcilable contradiction. 
They affect to commend to the confidence of others 
conclusions which they themselves reject with disgust 
and abhorrence. And they cannot but regard them- 
selves with deep dissatisfaction. Self-respect vanishes. 
A sense of weakness pervades them. They are as rest- 
less as they are inconsistent. They shrink from them- 
selves as defiled, degraded and disgraced by their own 
stupidity or perverseness. They are angry with them- 
selves for being and for doing what they cannot per- 
suade themselves to cease to be and to forbear to do. 
Thus, they are in conflict with themselves, presenting 
a spectacle well adapted to awaken indignation, qua- 
lified by compassion. Thus affected, it is no wonder 
that they contradict and reproach and assail those 
whose premises they cannot gainsay, whose arguments 
they cannot resist, whose conclusions they cannot re- 
ject. At strife with whatever is human and healthful 
in their own nature, they of course wage war with every 
thing true and good within their reach. The wisdom 
and strength of their opponents irritate them. Instead 
of urging strong arguments, which they cannot do, 
they call hard names, which they can do. Instead of 
relying on moral suasion, which they are unable to 
employ, they betake themselves to what they find ac- 
cessible, brute-force. They may be poor in facts, rea- 
sons and appeals ; they are rich in the supplies which 
the magazines of lawless mobs contain — oaths and 



351 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



stones and dasrsrers. If Jesus of Nazareth reduces 
them to silence by weighty words, they can reduce him 
to silence by the deadly cross ! 

In this country, a system of wrong and outrage 
widely prevails. Its bearings are every way harsh 
and hurtful in the highest degree. It is the fruit of 
absurdity and iniquity — charged with the deadliest 
tendencies — opening the way for the most frightful re- 
sults. Xo sincere and intelligible word can be uttered 
in its defence. Of this, those who give it their coun- 
tenance and support are well aware. They know that 
it is condemned by the voice of nature and the author- 
ity of reason ; that it is in conflict with every thing true, 
human and generous. Yet it ministers in various ways 
to the gratification of their passions. It furnishes food 
for their animal appetites. It nourishes their self- 
indulgence, their pride, their arrogance. It encourages 
them to assume superiority over their fellows without 
exacting at their hands the thought and the toil which 
are requisite to superiority. They cannot, therefore, 
persuade themselves to renounce and abandon what 
they can by no means approve and justify. They are 
bent on persistence in folly and iniquity at whatever 
expense or hazard. And they will not listen to a word 
which may be uttered to expose and reclaim them. 
They enjoin silence on all who cannot open their lips 
to excuse or justify the absurdities and outrages which 
themselves commit. He who persists in his efforts to 
conduct them to sound and fertile ground, they abuse 
and vilify and execrate and threaten. The fist and 
boot — the bowie-knife and halter— these are the argu- 
ments on which they depend. As if the blood of their 
murdered reprovers could wash away the stains which 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 355 

defile their own hearts and their own history ! As if 
closing their ears to the voice of justice would shield 
them from its avenging sword ! 

If men could, when assailed, defend themselves with 
the arguments which reason commends, they never 
would betake themselves to the murderous strife — to 
the field of battle. Brute force can be welcomed only 
in the sphere where brutes are at home. "Wars and 
fightings 1 ' always "come from the lusts," which riot 
and revel in carnal propensities and beastly indul- 
gencies. Men never wield tusks and claws till they 
have renounced the authority of reason — till they have 
unmanned and imbruted themselves. And the guilt, 
embarrassment and degradation to which they are thus 
reduced, they inflict upon themselves in violating the 
laws of the Infinite Wisdom. Thus they forfeit and 
lose the choicest blessings. 

If in occupying the same throne — manifesting the 
same character — exerting the same influence, God be- 
stows and withholds, " gives and takes away," surely 
in the one case as in the other we may with equal con- 
fidence and emphasis exclaim, Let his name be repeated 
with the liveliest complacency and the deepest vene- 
ration. " Blessed be his name." 

An attractive and inspiring light this subject sheds upon 
our condition and prospects. We live in the midst of 
gifts conferred and gifts withdrawn. Whatever may 
be our field of observation, we see one enriched with 
the choicest benefits, and another reduced to abject 
poverty. This man exults in the prerogatives and 
privileges which his birthright involves, and that 
" curses the day in which he was born." The life of 
one is rich, free and beautiful ; of another lean, servile 



356 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and repulsive. To the thoughtless and superficial, the 
allotments of the children of Adam seem to be unequal 
and inexplicable. Some seem to be favorites of the 
Supreme Power ; others, objects of disgust and aver- 
sion. The arbitrary and the capricious seem widely to 
prevail. 

But careful observation, earnest inquiry, and deep 
reflection present the subject in a light quite satisfac- 
tory and inspiring. We perceive at once that wisdom, 
equity and benignity preside over all natural arrange- 
ments and events. The sovereign Lord evermore ma- 
nifests himself as " our Father." The principles under 
whose control we are placed, are at the same time 
worthy of his majesty and promotive of our welfare. 
Their sway is as healthful as it is decisive. Their ten- 
dencies and bearings and results demand the liveliest 
complacency and the warmest gratitude. In bowing 
to their authority and availing ourselves of their influ- 
ence, we find ourselves strong, rich, blessed. If we 
throw ourselves into conflict with their demands, guilt, 
embarrassment, wretchedness are the inevitable results. 
In the one case as in the other, the Most High reveals 
himself to every open eye — to every generous heart as 
most worthy of our love and confidence and homage. 
This is the condition to which every man, as a man, is 
elevated. Could any ground more lofty, more fertile, 
more beautiful, be demanded — be described? And our 
prospects correspond with our condition. He, in whom 
we live, on whom we are dependent, is the same, im- 
mutably and everlastingly. The principles, whose 
sway we now recognize, will assert their authority for 
evermore. And the influences they exert to-day, they 
will exert to-morrow. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



357 



We may well be grateful and encouraged. We are 
in the presence of Legislative Wisdom and Sovereign 
Love. Provision, the most ample and appropriate, is 
made for our welfare. Not a single want has been ne- 
glected. The higher our aims, aspirations and en- 
deavors, the more emphatic is the assurance which 
heaven offers, of sympathy and cooperation. What 
more can we ask than is already afforded ? 

Let us, then, respond pro mptly, profoundly and fully to 
the claims of High Heaven upon us/ These claims, it is 
the object of this discourse to illustrate and commend. 
Shall we not welcome them to our thoughts and active 
energies ? Shall we not yield to their healthful influ- 
ence ? Why should we not respond to them, distinctly 
and gratefully, in whatever we may attempt, in what- 
ever we may enjoy, in whatever we may endure ? The 
smiles which may brighten our countenances, and the 
hot tears which may scald our cheeks are alike related 
to the divine perfections. The difference between the 
one and the other, we ourselves have made — it is our 
own affiiir. The wisdom, benignity and faithfulness 
of God appear alike in the sunshine which falls along 
our pathway, and the tempest which lies so heavily 
upon us. Ecstasy and anguish alike speak his praise 
— proclaim him worthy of universal veneration and 
unlimited confidence. To this great conclusion let us 
give heart and tongue ! Let the occasion, on which 
we are now assembled, impress it deeply and tenderly 
upon us ! 

Henry D. Ward, whose remains we have just been 
committing to the grave, was dear to many a heart. I 
have seldom seen more touching indications of genuine 
mourning than among those who have taken part in 



858 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



these faneral-services. And though I was gratified, I 
was not surprised. The modest worth of our young 
brother had silently yet effectually insinuated itself 
into the affections of his acquaintance. He was seldom 
abroad. He did not obtrude himself upon the atten- 
tion of his fellows. He was quiet, retiring, unambi- 
tious. He was as cheerful and generous, as he was 
shrewd and witt} r . He was, I think, ingenuous and 
sincere — holding empty shows and hollow professions 
in abhorrence. His tendencies were broadly humane. 
He was, I think, rapidly ripening into a strong, wise 
and beautiful manhood. Dear hopes and bright pro- 
mises were clustering around him. His presence in 
the family circle to which he belonged, was a light and 
a joy. He had fastened himself strongly to the hearts 
of those to whom in domestic life he was united. And 
while those hearts bleed to-day at his early departure, 
may they be open to the rich consolation which is now 
offered. To the claims of their wise, loving, faithful 
Father may they cordially respond. May they find in 
their experience what the Patriarch discovered in his, 
that the providence of God is a storehouse of blessings. 
With him may they join in the triumphant exclama- 
tion : " The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ; 
blessed be the name of the Lord l" 



SLAVERY. 



Slavery is a subject which some may think too 
trite and hackneyed to awaken interest or repay atten- 
tion. It certainly has been introduced, insisted on, dis- 
cussed often ; and on various occasions and for various 
purposes : not always in a way, however, best adapted 
to make a just and deep impression of its nature, bear- 
ings and results. And though Slavery may be a trite 
affair in our thoughts, it takes fast hold of every thing 
vital in its victims. It is fresh with the warm blood 
which it every day sheds ; every day it extends its en- 
croachments and multiplies its enormities ; every day 
urges its appeals more and more directly and power- 
fully upon every thing human in the sphere of its in- 
fluence. On such a subject, I hope that I may be 
heard with indulgence and candor, if I venture to offer 
a few suggestions. 

It is a natural inquiry, demanding prompt attention, 
In what may Slavery characteristically consist ? By 
what features is it distinctively marked ? Vasrue, un- 
certain views here will involve us in confusion and 
embarrassment in any attempts we may make to reach 
sound and healthful conclusions any where and about 
any point in the whole range of the discussion now be- 
fore us. Human nature is characterized by certain 
elements which distinguish it from any other nature 
within the compass of our knowledge. It is armed 
with certain organic powers which are peculiar to it 
among the creatures we are surrounded with. The 
Ideas, the Principles, the Laws of the Reason — the types 



360 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and aspects under which the Eeason authoritatively an- 
nounces itself — we, as human, are able to apprehend. 
We can bring them home to " our business and 
bosoms" — to our inmost consciousness. We can reach 
distinct apprehensions of them under their own proper 
character and bearings — their bearings and character 
as ideas, principles and laws. We cannot thus but 
clearly perceive and deeply feel that they are altogether 
authoritative in their demands — that they naturally as- 
sume a control altogether sovereign over every thing 
human. No sooner do they reach our consciousness 
than they awaken there a sense of obligation. We can 
by no means deny that we ought to adjust ourselves to 
their demands. And this achievement we cannot but 
regard as within the limits of the powers with which 
our nature is endowed. The ability to embody the 
ideas, principles, laws of reason in substantial deeds, 
fitly wrought, is another distinctive element and fea- 
ture of our humanity. The human within us — our 
proper personality is here to be recognized and wel- 
comed ; it consists comprehensively and exclusively in this ; 
the being able to perceive, speculatively, what Reason de- 
mands of us, and die being able, practically, to honor these 
demands — to respond, deed-ivise, to any such claims. 
Hence we are distinctively and characteristically to be 
described as reasonable creatures. 

Now Freedom, as a capacity, a possibility, a practica- 
ble achievement, lies in the ability to adjust ourselves 
to the principles on which our nature was constructed — 
to yield obedience to the laws of our existence. And 
this ability characterizes our humanity. It is involved 
in its distinctive elements. It is the foundation of the 
right to freedom which all men may properly assert. On 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



361 



this ground, the Bill of Eights, which our countrymen 
so often and so boastfully repeat — the Declaration of 
Independence — reposes. As all men have a capacity for 
freedom, so all men, through this capacity, have a just 
claim to freedom. This right grows out of their con- 
stitutional powers. It is the endowment of their Cre- 
ator — the gift of God. It is involved in the creative 
act which gave them existence. It is mingled with 
their life-blood. It is wrought into their heartstrings. 
It penetrates and pervades the nature they have in- 
herited. What the Declaration asserts is confirmed by 
metaphysical necessities. 

The right thus adverted to — the right to freedom — 
inheres in the characteristically Human of our exist- 
ence — in the proper elements of our Humanity — by 
virtue of which we are capable of manliness. It is a 
constitutional affair, wrought into, and wrapped up in, 
the depths of our being. It is a capacity — a power. 
We get possession of it in getting possession of our- 
selves. When our Humanity is brought into natural ex- 
ercise, and thus into fit development, we become Hu- 
man historically — fact- wise, as by birth, we are Human 
constitutionally — structure-wise. We cannot otherwise 
get possession of any of the rights belonging to the nature 
ichieh ive have inherited. It is only by becoming manly 
in our aims, methods and exertions, that we can lay 
hold of the prerogatives and privileges which inhere in 
manliness. These lie within our reach, and may be 
attained just as the art of reading or of painting — just 
as any of the arts lie within our reach, and may be at- 
tained. To refuse to bring the powers appropriate to 
freedom into requisition, is to renounce Freedom — to 
trample on this birthright. It may still belong to us 
16 



362 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



as a possibility — as an inheritance ; but by no means 
as an actual possession and enjoyment. This distinc- 
tion, founded in propriety and confirmed by history, is 
full of practical significance — has bearings in one di- 
rection and another of the highest moment. 

Whenever we become fact-wise as we are birth-wise 
reasonable creatures — whenever we obey the laws upon 
which our nature was constructed — whenever we be- 
come actually Human, then our right to Freedom takes 
its place among the established facts of history. Ad- 
justing ourselves to the principles of our existence, we 
get possession of whatever these principles involve. 
We become free, inherently : and by necessities as im- 
perious and healthful as the laws by which we are 
organized and animated. All the elements of our ex- 
istence are each in its proper place — in fall harmony 
with each other — occupied each with its appropriate 
function. We are fitted for — shall pursue, a course of 
activity altogether human. We shall exert ourselves 
alike gracefully and effectively — in full freedom. — For 
this, we are furnished, constitutionally, with various 
physical instruments and agencies, adapted to our pre- 
sent mode of existence. These are the constituent 
parts of our bodily structure — the house in which we 
live — the temple in which we worship. They adapt 
us to — they connect us with — the terrestrial scenes, in 
which we act our parts and manifest our character. 
They inhere in our personality — to our personality they 
belong, as the instruments through which it here exerts 
its energies and accomplishes its designs — through 
which it here honors its responsibilities and develops its 
powers. Here are found the senses and the passions — 
whatever enters into the animal of our structure. All 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



363 



these belong, and are naturally folly subservient to the 
I myself of every child of Adam. 

From the beautiful and inspiring affirmative thus 
presented, we must now turn, as the occasion demands, 
to the chilling and repulsive negative. It is a feet, 
tear-drenched and blood-stained, that in multiplied in- 
stances — too many to admit of enumeration — the Hu- 
man in mankind, in which our personality consists, is 
subjected to the Animal. How the Man within us is 
dethroned — how the animal gets hold of the sceptre, 
is a question which I need not here discuss. However 
this problem may be disposed of — whatever theories 
may be started and defended, the fact can by no means 
be denied. Every where and every when it stares us 
obtrusively and malignantly in the face — wringing 
tears from the eyes and blood from the hearts of the 
true and loyal. Everywhere we see Eeason, naturally 
in harmony with the Will — we see the Will, naturally 
responsive to Eeason, bereft of their proper sovereignty, 
and by a strange contradiction brought into subserv- 
iency to the Passions. Eeason is no longer reason as a 
controlling authority — will is no longer will as an ex- 
pression and utterance of the laws of our Humanity ; 
the one and the other sink down to a level with mere 
instruments and tools. As such they are. regarded 
and disposed of. They are brought into reluctant re- 
quisition to the designs and endeavors with which the 
passions and appetites are engrossed. Eeason is not 
reverently looked up to as Eeason — as God's presence 
in the Soul ; the Will is not honored as the source of 
high aspirations, lofty endeavors, free activity : the 
energies of the will and the light of reason are prosti- 
tuted to the animal. Now tools, universally, are to be 



364 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



regarded and estimated as property, merchandise. They 
are to he classified with chattels. Slavery consists in the 
reduction of personality to the condition of a chattel. 
That is it, universally and exclusively. Where that is, 
slavery is ; and where slavery is, there Man — that in 
which humanity consists — the human within us, is 
reduced to the condition of property. This reduction 
may be effected by this or by that agency — may be at- 
tended by these or by those circumstances — may as- 
sume one or another appearance. In one case, it may 
be marked by incidents quite different from those 
which distinguish another. Here a foreign force may 
be applied, and there, withheld. But nothing of this 
sort touches the vitals of the business. Wherever the 
will and reason are brought into subserviency to the 
passions — no matter how — no matter under what ap- 
pearances, there, EXACTLY THERE, is slavery. It is 
there, not as an incident — not as a circumstance — but 
as the pith and essence of the enormity. This, and only 
this, and this evermore, is slavery. 

Giving himself up to the dominance of passion, 
James becomes an inebriate. Of the intoxicating 
draught he partakes eagerly and freely. He plunges 
headlong into his chosen indulgence. It gets full pos- 
session of him. Wherever he goes, and whatever he 
attempts, it is present to his thoughts — it engrosses 
every thing which he might naturally claim as his own. 
In the lisrht of reason, he stands self-condemned. He 
cannot help loathing himself. The habits he has 
formed — the indulgences in which he revels, he re- 
gards as degrading and ruinous. In acquiring the 
means of gratifying his appetites, he exerts himself 
with a crippling reluctance. The man within him 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



365 



struggles, revolts and shudders, as he finds himself 
sinking into the depths of degradation. But he sub- 
mits — with many a disclaimer, remonstrance, protest to 
be sure, he submits. He surrenders himself to the 
force which assails him — at the sacrifice of obligation, 
honor, happiness, and with arms in his hands, he sur- 
renders himself to the " mercies of the cruel." He 
consents, all reluctantly and loathingly, while fetters 
are riveted upon his limbs — while he is led to the auc- 
tion-block to be sold to the highest bidder. Poor 
James ! " Sold and gone to the rice-swamps, dank and 
lone !" Who expects at his hands any expression of 
true manliness ? Who trusts in his promises or relies 
on his engagements ? No one expects that any appeal 
to his honor — to his sympathies — to his interests, will 
be of the least avail. He has lost self-possession. He 
has sunk down to all thai is absurd, contradictory, 
helpless, degrading and revolting in slavery. Every 
fact in his history goes to confirm the conclusion, that 
he is a slave. 

The lust of lucre gets possession of Thomas. He is 
intent on accumulation. Wealth engrosses his thoughts 
and affections : he pants for it, plots for it, toils for it. 
Time and strength he devotes to its acquisition. What- 
ever may be inconsistent with this, however significant 
and sacred, and whatever may be its bearing on his 
improvement and welfare, he is ready to sacrifice. He 
lays his humanity on the altar of Mammon. Yet not 
without many misgivings and apprehensions. The ob- 
ject on which he is thus intent — which he thus pur- 
sues, he cannot, in his sober moments, regard as worthy 
of the aspirations and endeavors which he lays out 
upon it. As enlightened by Eeason — as armed with 



366 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



the Active Faculty, he feels embarrassed and degraded. 
He struggles against the passion which is planting its 
heel upon his neck : again and again he struggles. He 
shrinks from the chain which is crippling his powers — 
crushing his energies. Yet he submits. In despite of 
reason — in opposition to every thing human within 
and around him, he submits. His manliness is stifled. 
You regard him as lost — beyond the reach of argu- 
ment, remonstrance, appeal — the slave of the passion 
by which he is swayed. 

Eichard gives himself up to the dominance of Am- 
bition. Place, office, titles — these are the idols which 
hold him in subjection. He must distinguish himself — 
must win for himself a name — must be a prominent 
figure among his fellows. To gain such an eminence, 
he strains every nerve. No labor is too exhausting to 
be performed — no sacrifice too costly to be made. Con- 
science, heart, every kindly affection, every manly 
endeavor — all these he lays upon the altar of Ambi- 
tion. Why attempt to convince him of his folly and 
guilt ? He is convinced in the light which reason 
sheds upon his consciousness. He is self-condemned. 
But who shall reclaim him ? He is not his own man. 
He is a slave. 

Wherever and however men submit to the domi- 
nance of passion, they become — in so doing, they be- 
come enslaved. They take the yoke of chattelship 
upon their necks. They lose self-possession. They 
are not their own. They are at the mercy of the 
blind power, to whose usurped sceptre they have 
bowed. The degradation, the guilt, the wretchedness 
of slavery is all their own. To subjugate ourselves to 



SERM0XS AXD DISCOURSES. 



367 



appetite and passion is to put our necks under the 
yoke — our feet into the fetters of voluntary servitude. 

The influence which any man exerts upon his fel 
lows must correspond with the character by which he 
is distinguished. It is himself- — his proper self, which 
he impresses on those with whom he has to do — to 
whom he has access. His own " image and superscrip- 
tion," and nothing else, is the result of his social inter- 
course. This general conclusion may be applied in 
full force to the subject with which we are now occu- 
pied. Every man who has risen to freedom exerts the 
influence of a freeman upon his fellows. In his inter- 
course with them — in his bearing upon them — in the 
whole scope of his activity, he will be exerting him- 
self continually to elevate them to the position which 
he himself occupies. But whoever has submitted to 
the dominance of passion, will endeavor to reduce 
others to slavery. He cannot but be himself in the 
social intercourse which brings him into their presence. 
The " image and superscription" of a slave he will, as 
far as able, impress upon them. He cannot do other- 
wise while he himself remains in thraldom : and this, 
in every sphere of activity. Such is the origin and 
comprehensive history of slavery under every type 
and modification. The drunkard always tries to ex- 
tend the dominion of the bottle. He solicits, entices, 
tempts those to whom he may have access. He puts 
the intoxicating glass to their lips. He breathes a 
deadly infection into the surrounding atmosphere. It 
is dangerous to come into his presence. You fear to 
have your cherished son touch "the hem of his gar- 
ment. 7 ' You dread the plague which he spreads all 
around. His whole influence goes to reduce others to 



368 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



die slavery beneath which he himself writhes and 
staggers. 

Avarice reduces every thing human in its victim to 
subjection to its demands. His personality he submits 
to the tyranny of passion. The degradation into which 
he sinks, moreover, he is sure to extend, if he can, to 
his fellows. He labors to impress himself in a con- 
trolling way upon them ; to reduce them to his own 
condition. He tries to wield them as tools to subserve 
his designs. He has as little respect for their person- 
ality as for his own. He estimates them merely as in- 
struments. As such he disposes of them so far as they 
are within his reach and beneath his power. He is 
ready to sell his part and portion in them, whoever 
they may be, for gold. If able, he does so directly 
and openly ; if not, indirectly and covertly. 

The votary of ambition exerts essentially the same 
influence on his fellows. He tries to extend the do- 
minion of the passion by which he himself is enslaved. 
He labors to bring them into cooperation or subserv- 
iency to his designs. If in so doing he cannot wield 
them as instruments — use them as tools, he turns away 
from them as nothing-worth. If he can, he disposes 
of them as shrewdly and effectively as possible — with- 
out the slightest regard for their personality. They 
may think for him, toil for him, bleed for him — may 
expose body and soul to corruption and ruin in his 
service ; what cares he ? What better can tools ex- 
pect in the hands of tools ? 

Such general conclusions are fully confirmed by the 
eye of observation and the page of history. How, 
generally, are those who have usurped the place and 
the prerogatives of rulers occupied ? In impressing 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



369 



themselves upon every thing — every object and relation 
— in the sphere of their jurisdiction. They are the 
slaves of their own passions. They do not even aim 
at any thing manly. They do not care to be human. 
Truth, order, justice — magnanimity, wisdom, philan- 
thropy — such acquisitions lie far beyond the scope of 
their thoughts and exertions. They know no higher 
heaven than the top of the pole which, monkey -like, 
they are busy a-climbing. And to reach this consum- 
mation, they think it an easy condition to exact the 
sweat — extort the tears — spill the blood of myriads of 
their subject fellows ! The usurpers of the thrones of 
Europe are eagerly and stoutly intent on maintaining 
what they call the " balance of power." What power 
may be — what may be essential to its existence and 
exercise — whether and how it may inhere in them — 
and for what ends it may naturally be wielded, are 
points to wdiich they never advert. The meaning of 
the words which describe their official positions and 
relations, they can by no means be induced to study or 
enabled to comprehend. And yet, blind, rash, beastly 
as they are, they are on the alert to keep up the " bal- 
ance of power" ! For this, they " let slip the dogs of 
war" — marring, wasting, destroying every thing bright, 
beautiful and sacred, on which they can lay their harpy 
hands. English, French, Eussians, Turks, blind and 
besotted, one and all rush to the deadly conflict, they 
know not for what. They are disposed of as the tools 
of tyranny — as the slaves of the brute forces by which 
they are impelled. Every thing human perishes in the 
strife, and passion asserts its sway, unchecked and un- 
questioned. 

Nor does this Eepublic essentially differ, in the mat- 
16* 



370 



5ERMOXS A2STD DISCOURSES. 



ter under hand, from Turkey or Eussia. Here as well 
as there, those who usurp the place of rulers are am- 
bitious. In their relations to, and influence upon, 
mankind, they refuse to labor for the nourishment, de- 
velopment, maturity of our common humanity. All 
this they regard with ill-disguised contempt. All this 
they are ready, without scruple or remorse, to sacrifice 
on the altar of Ambition. As an illustration, take the 
war which they waged with Mexico. The most illustrious 
names — the most prominent figures in the sphere of 
politics declared openly and emphatically, that it was 
"not fit" to be proclaimed or carried on. It was as 
much a war with order, justice and decency as with 
Mexico. It was condemned by the everlasting pro- 
prieties — by the authority of Reason. Every blow 
inflicted left a wound on our common humanity. Of 
course, no freeman could, under any inducement — for 
any purpose — at any position, engage in such a strife. 
To do that would be to violate the laws of his own ex- 
istence — to stab his own personality — to attempt sui- 
cide. And yet the war with Mexico was carried on 
with the consent and with the assistance of those who 
most promptly and pointedly condemned it ! They 
were prominent and commanding figures in the scenes 
of which it was, absurdly and wickedly, the occasion. 
Their relations and positions, socially and politically, 
forced them, they alleged, to enter on a quarrel which, 
in their inmost souls, they abhorred. They tiins con- 
fessed themselves to be slaves. 

But no such confession could reduce their worth in 
the general estimation. Nay, they were regarded as 
having risen in dignity and strength, by thus falling 
foul of themselves ! Their achievements in this un- 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



371 



natural conflict were the theme of popular exultation ; 
and one of their number was raised by the general 
voice to the loftiest pinnacle of official honor and re- 
sponsibility ! Thus a slave was set by slaves to preside 
over slaves. 

In what is technically called slavery, the thing is 
openly, grossly, impudently carried to the lowest ex- 
treme. Without any disguise — without the least quali- 
fication, it exposes itself, all absurd and cruel, to gen- 
eral observation and study. Keason, under its most 
solemn and imposing type — the type of Law — is forced 
upon unnatural exertions to give it form, to provide 
for its defence — to render it permanent and universal. 
In the attempt, jevery way monstrous, to reduce per- 
sonality to property, it proclaims itself successful. It 
seizes on human creatures, whose only offence is their 
helplessness and exposure, and, in the solemn language, 
and with the imposing forms of legislation, describes 
them as chattels. It proceeds to treat them accordingly. 
It drives them to the auction-stand, exposes them there 
to all the mortifying liabilities of the market, treats the 
most sacred relations, the most hallowed ties, with un- 
disguised contempt — separating the wife from the hus- 
band — the child from the mother, and sells them to the 
highest bidders. If you follow one of these thrice un- 
fortunate wretches to the sphere of unpaid drudgery, 
to which he is doomed, you will perceive — with dis- 
gust and horror you will perceive, that he is exposed, 
continually and every where, to any insult and injury 
which cunning can contrive, or malignity inflict ; and 
all this, without protection or redress ! No man, thus 
exposed, may defend his life, no woman her honor. 
Nothing whatever, in the whole compass of our na- 



372 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ture — in the entire sphere of our existence, is shielded 
from the rude hand of violence. Every thing manly 
in man, and every thing womanly in woman, is placed, 
according to what bears the name of law, at the dis- 
posal — is thrown upon the mercy of the wantonly and 
remorselessly cruel. And all this to-day, to-morrow, 
and to the dying breath of all "who are concerned" ! 

And in this Eepublic, this is preeminently a national 
affair. That it is in origin, form and bearings. It is, 
more than any thing else, which belongs to our exist- 
ence and history as a people, an American institution. 
It sprung from the depths of our national existence. 
Had not the people at large put themselves under the 
dominance of passion, they could never have thrust 
their poor, helpless, unoffending brother down to a de- 
gradation so fathomless. Had they themselves been 
free, they would emphatically and authoritatively have 
demanded freedom for him. Any resistance to this 
demand, they would not have endured from whatever 
quarter it might have proceeded, and by whatever pre 
texts it might have been justified. Slavery must, 
under any type and aspect, ever be the stern, unyield 
ing abhorrence of freemen. It could never have found 
a home among us, could never have established itself 
here, if it had not here reached a soil prepared for its 
admission. Much less could it have become, as it has 
here ever been, a dandled, petted affair — a cherished 
" institution," paramount in the general mind, in the 
national counsels — in the designs and enterprises with 
which the Republic is engrossed, to every thing else. 
Even in inveighing against it — and multitudes inveigh 
against it on what they reckon fit occasions — the ma- 
jority imitates the example of the mother in the Pil- 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



873 



grim's Progress, who, while slie calls her child naughty 
slut and good-for-nothing, eagerly falls to hugging and 
kissing it ! Accordingly, almost every name, which 
as a candidate for the highest office in the nation has 
commanded a majority of votes, has belonged to an 
actual slaveholder or a devotee of slavery. Such have 
been in almost every instance the Presidents of the Ke- 
public. None but a servile people — eminently and 
shamelessly servile — could so degrade itself. A servile 
— eminently and shamelessly servile people we are ; 
hence slavery, under its most revolting type and odious 
description, gained a ready access to the very heart of 
the nation. 

Among our ethical and theological philosophers, it 
seems to be an open question, Whether to reduce a hu- 
man creature to slavery must be essentially absurd and 
wicked — a violation of the laws which are the basis of 
the eternal throne and of human personality ? This, 
we -are sometimes assured by prominent and imposing 
figures in the Church and in the State, is a most pro- 
found and difficult problem. To comprehend it fully 
and dispose of it fairly, subtle thought, wide obser- 
vation, deep reflection and protracted study are indis- 
pensable ; and all this in a measure which almost no 
one among us can be supposed to have attained. States- 
man and philosopher, priest and prophet, after their 
highest efforts, stand here, confessedly embarrassed ! 
They are shocked at the rash judgment of the bold, 
stout, frank reformer, who without the least hesitation 
or reserve, pronounces slavery a sin, equally flagrant 
and heinous; and as such demands its abolition, im- 
mediately and universally. It is, they affirm, an essen- 
tial element of the body politic, and as such to be pro- 



374 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



tected and cherished. It is embodied and defined in 
solemn statutes, and recognized and regulated in the 
Biblg ! But what is that which is thus dismissed as at 
worst of doubtful character ? That which one cannot 
promptly and decisively pronounce absurd and wicked 
without exposing himself to the charge of rashness and 
ill-nature ? It is the act, deliberate and open, and mul- 
tiplied into confirmed habits, of reducing personality 
into property — of subjugating the human to the animal 
— of prostituting the reason and the active faculty to 
the dominance of the passions. It is the act of out- 
raging truth, order, justice — of trampling upon them 
wantonly and rudely — of holding them up to contempt 
or abhorrence. It falls foul of every known principle 
of the divine government. The all-essential, far-reach- 
ing, comprehensive distinction between personality and 
property, it ignores or eschews. It pronounces a man 
a thing, and exalts a thing to a level with a man. The 
human soul, fashioned in the image of God, and re- 
deemed by the blood of Christ, it disposes of as an ar- 
ticle of merchandise — exposing it to sale among the 
most common rubbish ever offered in the market. All 
this, slavery perpetrates deliberately, avowedly, univer- 
sally — under its proper character as slavery ; accord- 
ing to every thing characteristic, by which it is distin 
guished. Its benumbing, crippling, degrading influ 
ence is no where more flagrantly and revoltingly ma- 
nifested than in the reluctance or inability of philo- 
sophers and theologians to perceive and proclaim its 
inherent and enormous wickedness. To assail truth, 
to violate order, to trample on justice, to decry and de- 
grade and outrage humanity — to do all this delibe- 
rately, systematically, constantly and in the name of 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



375 



nature, law and religion — in the name of all that is 
paternal in the Creator, and of all that is generous, 
magnanimous and compassionate in the Saviour — to do 
all this in every possible way, on every possible occasion 
and in every possible degree — and this is just what 
slavery every where and every when attempts and per- 
petrates — must be to plunge headlong into the very 
depths of absurdity and wickedness. And wherever 
truth, order, justice are trampled under foot — wherever 
humanity is decried and outraged, there by a necessity 
as strong as the decrees of heaven and the ordinances 
of nature, weakness, embarrassment and misery must 
result. So it must always be — thus it has always been. 
Various and multiplied as are the forms of imbecility 
and misery, which prevail in the world, in individuals 
and in society, they may all be traced to the folly and 
wickedness of mankind, in preferring the animal to the 
rational — in setting the tyranny of passion before the 
authority of principle. And where, as in this Eepublic, 
slavery assumes its grossest and most revolting form, 
there such results may be expected in forms and de- 
grees equally gross and revolting. And this expec- 
tation is confirmed by every page and paragraph of our 
national history. What is here commonly known and 
described as slavery, has all along been the manifest 
occasion of what all sober minds have most yearningly 
deprecated and most passionately deplored. In the midst 
of our counsels, designs and exertions, it has always 
been the disturbing force. It has involved us in the 
grossest errors — driven us on to the most flagitious 
crimes, and exposed us to the most frightful calamities. 
It has ever been for us — every way and every where — 
the copious source of guilt and wretchedness. 



376 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



How what is generally recognized and described as 
slavery in this Bepublic, may be exposed, assailed and 
abolished, is a grave question, to which multiplied 
thinkers have addressed themselves. The influences 
to be exerted — the methods to be preferred — the agen- 
cies to be employed — on such points our fellows around 
us are far from unanimous. Their attention, I cannot 
help thinking, is too much occupied with the accidents, 
the incidents, the visible results of slavery. Its essen- 
tial elements, its distinguishing features, its character- 
istic tendencies, they are apt to overlook or underrate. 
When they witness some atrocity within the sphere of 
its influence, on a larger or a smaller scale, they often 
seem to be aroused, excited, stimulated to determined 
resistance. They condemn, denounce, threaten. They 
lift up their eyes to heaven in solemn, impassioned, 
emphatic appeals. They arm themselves for the con- 
flict, and endeavor to enlist mankind every where as 
auxiliaries. They assure us, that they can never sleep 
again over the insults and injuries which are so ruth- 
lessly heaped upon their enslaved brethren ; that they can 
never sheathe their swords till the thrice-accursed thing 
is forever abolished. They can never be reconciled to 
fetters and whips and bloodhounds — to the dissolution 
of the dearest relationships and the tenderest ties — to 
the eager and determined pursuit of the terror-stricken 
fugitive. But let some stolid, solemn Dr. Adams as- 
sure them, that after all, as a general thing, the slaves 
are well fed, well clothed and well sheltered ; that they 
are often cherished and caressed, treated almost as ten- 
derly as fondled dogs are sometimes treated, and the 
tide of their indignation begins at once to ebb ; the re- 
solutions they had formed and avowed to drive slavery 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



377 



to extremities, begin to relax. The ado they were mak- 
ing in the cause of humanity, dies away, and nothing 
remains but the retiring dust and smoke in which they 
had been enveloped. They move on, down-stream, in 
close connection with the parties which they had, re- 
spectively, preferred — in close communion with the 
sects to which they had been, respectively, wedded — 
till some fresh outrage in the sphere of slavery stirs 
them up again. All this we have witnessed once, 
twice, three times — perhaps three times three — in this 
our Eepublic. 

No man, who has himself attained to freedom, can 
thus be occupied with the incidents of slavery. These 
may indeed greatly affect him — may add impulse to 
his best endeavors for the abolition of what he regards 
as in itself deserving of abhorrence and excision. The 
thing itself, apart from the circumstances which sur- 
round it, and the incidents by which it may be distin- 
guished, he sets himself against fully, sternly, unbend- 
ingly. He demands for the slave what cannot be con- 
ferred upon a dog — human prerogatives and human 
privileges, the immunities and rights and enjoyments 
which belong to our common humanity. As the slave 
is in structure and relations and destiny a man, he in 
sists upon it, that the slave should be recognized and 
treated as a man. A well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed 
slave is still a slave — in a condition and under relations 
altogether unnatural, monstrous — exposed by night 
and by day, at home and abroad, to withering insults 
and crushing injuries. Nay, slavery itself, essentially, 
intrinsically, necessarily, is the sum of all insults and 
of all injuries. Upon slavery itself, therefore, he wages 
war, and cannot lay down his arms till it be abolished. 



378 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Freedom can never proceed from slavery. Slavery 
must manifest itself, characteristically ', as slavery. Mo- 
dify, exercise and apply it as you will, it must continue 
to be what it is — slavery. Freedom is not an element 
of slavery, essentially or incidentally. It cannot, of 
course, be evolved thence, by any influence, agencj^ or 
process. All this is plain and certain. Slavery cannot 
proceed from freedom. They stand over against each 
other in direct, pointed, irreconcilable opposition. They 
are necessarily and essentially antagonistic. They are 
fully and flatly contradictory to each other — where 
one is affirmative, the other is always negative — the 
one returning a prompt and emphatic No to the other's 
Yes. As one rises, the other falls ; as one advances, 
the other retreats. The victory of the one is the de- 
feat of the other. A freeman cannot characteristically 
manifest himself — cannot show his face, utter his voice, 
" make bare his arm" — cannot in any relation, or on 
any occasion, exert the influence, appropriate to him- 
self without contributing something to the abolition of 
slavery. The effect of his exertions will correspond 
with the strength of his character. If he is truly free, 
greatly free, heroically free, he will exert himself for 
the downfall of slavery, accordingly. In him, in his 
aims, methods and exertions, we have the agency 
through which, and through which alone, slavery can 
be abolished. I do not deny, that in other ways great 
changes may be externally produced — chains may be 
broken from the limbs of the oppressed, and they may 
be admitted to invaluable privileges. But the question 
of freedom in application to themselves they them- 
selves alone can answer. If they hold the aims and 
prefer the methods and make the exertions, which the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



379 



principles on which human nature was constructed, 
demand, then and thus do they become free. And in 
making this great achievement, they are cheered and 
encouraged and assisted by all their fellows, who have 
acquired self-possession. And they themselves, once 
free, will be continually exerting an influence friendly 
to universal emancipation. 

When the great conclusions, to which this train of 
thought naturally conducts us, get possession of us, 
then will something radical and effectual be attempted 
i — be accomplished in behalf of freedom. And not 
otherwise. Satan, I know, often makes a show of cast- 
ing out Satan. He puts on airs of earnestness, reso- 
lution, decision. He raises clouds of dust — makes a 
great ado — fills heaven and. earth with tumult. But 
such attempts always end in mere noise and smoke. 
As nothing promotive of freedom was ever sincerely 
intended, nothing in that direction would thus be 
effected. Slavery under one type may indeed give 
place to slavery under another ; it is, however, under 
whatever type, slavery still. — Let us then shake off the 
yoke of servitude from our own necks. Let us rise 
superior to the dominance of passion. Let us adjust 
ourselves to the laws of our humanity — be ourselves 
Men. Then may we contribute something to the 
emancipation of our fellows. From ourselves, as a 
fountain of freedom, influences will stream forth on 
every side, most friendly to the final and universal 
abolition of slavery. 



PERSONALITY AND PROPERTY. 



Resolved, That the interpretation under which the Constitution of the 
Republic is generally received and applied, officially and unofficially, 
is in harsh conflict with the Laws of Human Xature and the Prin- 
ciples of the English Language ; is absurd, malignant, mischievous ; 
and is therefore to be indignantly and loathingly rejected. 

In the comprehensive summary, prefixed to the Con- 
stitution, the objects for which it was framed and 
adopted, are definitely, clearly and impressively de- 
scribed. These are substantial, significant, grand — 
worthy of deep complacency, warm admiration, earnest 
pursuit. There is nothing better, nothing more beau- 
tiful in heaven. Among these objects, Justice makes a 
prominent, a commanding figure. On the establish- 
ment of this, those who framed and adopted the Con- 
stitution, were avowedly intent. — Now justice is the 
foundation of the divine character and the divine gov- 
ernment. It is the fundamental law of human nature. 
It shines there as the " image of God." It consists in 
treating every thing to which we may have access, 
with which we may have to do, characteristically — in 
according to every thing its natural rights, in welcom- 
ing every thing to its proper place. 

Harmony, peace, " tranquillity," is the natural result 
of the 11 establishment of justice." Where this prevails, 
every one will be raised to the condition which is best 
adapted to his powers and resources — where he may 
best exert and enjoy himself. He will thus be brought 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



881 



into happy relations to his fellows. He will build up 
his fortunes, not on the ruins of theirs, who may be 
his inferiors in cunning and enterprise, but on their 
own proper basis. His success in promoting his own 
interests, will be the measure of his usefulness to others. 
In his activity in his own sphere of responsibility, he 
will afford encouragement and assistance to all around 
him ; and thus good-will, esteem, confidence between 
him and them may be expected to prevail. Thus, 
under the auspices of justice, ''domestic tranquillity 
will be insured." 

And thus, too, will "the common defence be pro- 
vided for." Each man in his proper place, each man 
in harmony with his fellows, injuries, internally in- 
flicted, need not be apprehended. They will be mu- 
tually united and compacted. Thus amidst the rela- 
tions which bind them to each other, full provision 
will be made for the u common defence." — And if they 
should be assailed from without, their unanimity, as 
pledged to a common object — "the establishment of 
justice" — must render them invincible. They will 
stand on common ground, shoulder to shoulder, every 
man a weapon and a shield to his fellow. Who need 
fear for the "common defence" when it is thus provided 
for? 

A fountain will by such means be opened whence 
will flow " the blessings of Liberty." These are 
involved in the law of our existence. Such fruit great 
Justice evermore and most liberally produces. By ad- 
justing ourselves to its demands, we may rise to self- 
possession. Our powers we may wield freely and 
effectively. In harmony with our fellows in a common 
pursuit and under the guidance and protection of Just- 



382 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ice, we shall exert and enjoy ourselves, not only with 
out foreign interference, but with the sympathy and co- 
operation of all around us. The richest blessings which 
flow from liberty, will be brought within our reach. 

Thus will " the General Welfare" be certainly and 
greatly " promoted." In " establishing justice," whether 
by individual effort or social arrangements, we reach 
the highest achievements of which we are capable ; 
our powers are brought into the healthiest and hap- 
piest requisition ; and we gain the freest access to an 
unfailing, overflowing fountain of the purest enjoy- 
ment. We rise to a position equally elevated, attract- 
ive and impregnable, and with bright and inspiring 
prospects. 

Now in the objects thus enumerated, all men have a 
common interest. To all men they belong properly 
and inalienably. They are the birthright of every 
child of Adam. They lie among the elements of his 
existence. His heart-strings are the tenure by which 
he holds them. His human blood is his title-deed. 
Whoever he may be, and whatever his field of activity, 
it is at all times his prerogative, his privilege, his duty 
to exert himself in every way for the ''establishment 
of justice." To the natural results he has inalienably 
the strongest claim — to a full participation in the 
''tranquillity," which may be "insured," and in "the 
common defence," which may thus be "provided for." 
To the "blessings of liberty" he is fairly entitled, and 
to a full share in the "general welfare." For the 
humanity, in which he is included, is the natural heir 
to these inestimable and imperishable blessings. No 
matter where or in what condition he may have com- 
menced his existence, whether among those who swelter 



SEIUIOXS A^sD DISCOURSES. 



383 



beneath the line or among those who shiver near the 
pole ; no matter whether he be reel, black or white ; 
whether he be rude or refined, cultivated or unculti- 
vated ; no matter whether his progenitors were honored 
or despised ; as he is a man, so he is entitled to all the 
prerogatives and privileges which belong to the na- 
ture he has inherited. It is his as truly as it is any 
man's, as it is God's, to exert himself for 4 'the establish- 
ment of justice," and to appropriate and enjoy the 
thrice-beautiful and blessed consequences. This right 
no Constitution can confer or withhold. It is the gift 
of God, wrought into the structure of our nature, and 
peremptorily and authoritatively asserted in its con- 
structive principles. 

At the time the Constitution was framed and adopted, 
the various branches of the human family were here 
represented. Men of different complexions and va- 
rious attainments, occupied some with one pursuit and 
some with another — these at elevated and those at 
lowly positions — intent on very various objects, and 
acting under very various impulses, were here from 
different parts of the earth brought together. They 
occupied common ground, asserted the same rights and 
wielded the same prerogatives. These were described 
and indicated in the Constitution, to which they all 
naturally sustained the same relations, They all be- 
longed to the " people," by whom the Constitution 
was adopted, and for whose benefit it was framed. As 
they were all placed under the authority of the organic 
law of the Eepublic, they were all alike entitled to the 
protection which it offered, and the encouragement 
which it afforded. No distinction could here be made 
without a palpable and flagrant violation of the prin- 
ciples on which the Constitution was constructed. 



384 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



These in their nature and demands are as universal as 
is the nature by which mankind are distinguished. 
These principles constitute the constructive elements 
of the humanity we have all in common inherited ; of 
the personality of every man they are the soul and the 
substance. He has the same obvious, inalienable right 
to these principles in all their bearings, tendencies and 
demands as to his own existence. To deny him this 
guidance and protection, whoever he may be, is to 
deny that he is an I myself- — that he has as human any 
part or portion in human prerogatives and privileges. 
Clearly and certainly, the Constitution belongs to every 
one in the United States, who is naturally qualified and 
bound to cherish arid promote the objects for which it was 
framed ; whose business it is, to the extent of his powers 
and throughout the sphere of his activity, " to establish 
justice and promote the general welfare." And to 
this great work every man is bound by the strongest 
obligations to apply arm and soul — to lay out in it his 
strength and his resources. 

I have already hinted, that there is in heaven nothing 
better than the objects for which the Constitution was 
professedly framed. They are defined, commended, 
promoted by the laws which proceed from the Eternal 
Throne. They involve and present the character- 
istic designs of the Divine Government. To the estab- 
lishment of Justice, the prevalence of Peace, the diffu- 
sion of Freedom, the promotion of the General Wel- 
fare, the energies and resources of the Legislative Soul, 
are forever consecrated. — Now civil government, under 
whatever name and form, derives its powers and its 
authority wholly from the eternal throne. " God is the 
only Potentate." Rulers are "his ministers." They 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 385 

act in his name, by his authority, in subserviency to 
his designs. Whoever refuses to take this attitude and 
pursue this course, is not, cannot be a ruler. Civil 
government, if it is not an imposition and usurpation, 
is in application to its specific relation and objects, an 
embodiment and manifestation of the divine. For the 
notion, however current and prevalent it may be, that 
the majority can create rulers and originate laws, is 
equally foolish and mischievous. Every name in the 
majority is under law, from the earliest commencement 
of his existence — and under law which was wrought 
into the texture of his being, and which pervades and 
animates every particle of his structure. He is essen- 
tially, intimately, everlastingly dependent on the great 
Majesty who first gave, and who continues to give him 
breath. His dependence is no less vital and pervading 
as associated with his fellows, however great may be 
their numbers, and however lofty may be their preten- 
sions, and however audacious may be their designs. 
How then can he create laws, rulers, governments ? 
To assert that we are subject in our relations to civil 
government to the majority, and bound to adjust our- 
selves to its demands, as the sovereign power, is as 
blindly absurd as it is foully atheistic. The majority 
may attempt in the way of legislation to establish in- 
justice and abridge liberty, and may in terms and tones 
of authority demand our assistance ; but what can it 
effect in any such direction ? It may loudly and solemnly 
proclaim its own arrogance and imbecility. It may 
expose itself to general abhorrence or contempt. It 
raay rush upon hopeless embarrassment — may expose 
itself to penalties as frightful as its folly is flagrant. 
Thus occupied, it cannot establish any claim upon us 
17 



386 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



for respect, confidence or cooperation. — The ground 
which the Constitution occupies according to its pre- 
amble, it could not but assume. It was here laid under 
a necessity, Trom which it could not escape — which it 
could not resist. All laws, organic as well as statutory, 
derive their significance and authority wholly from 
the divine sovereignty. They are valid only and ever 
as they are a transcript of, as they are coincident with, 
the principles on which the kingdom of heaven is 
founded. This the framers of the Constitution could 
not deny. Hence they professed to subserve the di- 
vine designs in selecting and enumerating the objects 
on which they were professedly intent. Had they 
ventured on attempts in an opposite direction, they 
would have proclaimed themselves intolerably arro- 
gant, shockingly audacious, abjectly profligate. What ! 
To establish injustice, stir up domestic strife, fasten the 
chain of slavery on themselves and their posterity, and 
in every way oppose and hinder the general welfare; 
could they, in laying the foundation of the Eepublic — 
in enacting its organic laws — avow any such design ? 
I know fall well, that not a few, who profess to hold 
their character and memory in deep veneration, say 
rash words in meeting this inquiry. They demand of 
us a respect near akin to reverence for what they de- 
scribe as despicable or abominable. Thus they re- 
quire us to perform the impossible. Had the founders 
of the Eepublic opened their lips to make any such 
proclamation, their words would have stuck in their 
throats — their tongues would have cloven to the roofs 
of their mouths. 

Now an attempt on a broad scale has been made in 
this Republic, to legalize a deliberate, gross and wanton 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



387 



assault upon the objects which the Constitution holds 
up to our veneration and confidence. The inalienable 
rights of our common nature have been ruthlessly as- 
saulted. Millions, of human beings, unstained with 
crime, without accusation and without suspicion, have 
been subjected to inflictions too heavy and crushing to 
be employed in restraining and punishing the most 
audacious and reckless criminal. A bold and stout 
attempt has been made to reduce them to property. 
As such, and in the language of legislation, they have 
been described. They bear the name of Slaves. As 
such they are forced into full subserviency to the pas- 
sions and caprices of those who claim them as their 
chattels. They are robbed of the wages to which they 
are entitled. They are liable every day and every 
where to rape and rapine. The ties of domestic life 
and love, they are forbidden to cherish and protect. 
In the name of law the wife is ravished before the eyes 
of her husband — the child torn forever away from the 
bosom of the parent. The son may be driven to scourge 
the naked limbs of his mother. Property and honor 
— chastity and life — none of these helpless, guiltless 
outlaws is permitted to enjoy and defend. He has no 
redress for any wrong which may be inflicted on him 
— for any outrage, however it may lacerate his heart- 
strings, to which he may be exposed. In the blas- 
phemed name of legislation, his rights and welfare — 
his body and soul — his present and his future — every 
relation, every prerogative, all his prospects are trodden 
under foot, rudely and recklessly. Millions of our fel- 
lows are in this Eepublic reduced to this condition — 
lie to-day thus prostrate and helpless, weltering in their 
own blood ; and with the consent, nay through the 



388 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



agency of a majority of the citizens. To this one de- 
sign, whoever and wherever they may be, high or low, 
in the North or in the South, they bring their various 
powers and resources into requisition. This, some- 
times, and in some cases with apparent hesitation, per- 
haps with loud reluctance, but always at length and 
effectually. And they shelter themselves from remorse 
and reproach by an affected regard for the Constitution. 
This great instrument, they allege, lends its counte- 
nance and yields its support to slavery. The Consti- 
tution authorizes and requires them to heap up on the 
head of the slave, the outrages beneath which he is 
crushed. 

The Constitution was framed with marked care and 
deep and long deliberation. It was drawn up as the 
result of profound thought, free inquiry and earnest 
discussion ; and by names which have been held up 
to our veneration as warm patriots and practical states- 
men. They were supposed to be largely qualified for 
the great task to which they had been summoned. 
With the prerogatives, the rights, the privileges, which 
inhere in, which belong to our common nature, they 
were supposed to be reverently familiar. These, accord- 
ing to their profession and position, they held as dear 
and sacred as their own life-blood. To define, to mag- 
nify, to protect these, they framed the Constitution. 
The language which they employed, every one must 
naturally expect, would be worthy of the subject with 
which the} r were occupied — would be good, strong 
English — conformed to the laws and usages of our mo- 
ther-tongue, and adapted to the general understanding. 
Especially must the principal words, here introduced, 
be happily selected and intelligently and consistently 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



389 



employed. The terms Justice, Freedom, the General 
Welfare, are among the most significant and definite 
which ever fall from human lips. The ideas to which 
they refer, have a commanding presence and a sove- 
reign prominence in human consciousness. These ideas 
are what they are intrinsically, immutably, universally. 
They are infinitely other than a nose of wax or a face 
of dough. In interpreting the words they are repre- 
sented under, we are to seek light and a standard not 
from varying circumstances, not from shallow expedi- 
encies, not from state necessities, but from the depths 
of our own being — from the recesses of our own con- 
sciousness — from the fixed, eternal laws of our human- 
ity. Justice, Freedom, the General Welfare, are here 
clearly and fully defined, and with stern authority 
vindicated. 

We are assured, however, by very great numbers, 
who profess to venerate the Constitution, that among 
its framers a secret understanding prevailed. In describ- 
ing and commending such objects as are enumerated 
in the preamble, it is hinted, these lofty statesmen gave 
each other a sly wink, readily understood and easily 
applied. Its meaning according to the most celebrated 
expounders, may thus be fitly given. We know what 
we are intent upon — the meaning of the big words and 
swollen professions, which with such apparent earnest- 
ness and solemnity we record. We know how to 
hoodwink the sordid, purblind creatures, who look up 
to us for counsel and guidance. They are used to be- 
ing duped — are fond of being duped ; they expect to 
be duped, as may be inferred from the choice they 
made of us as leaders in laying the foundations of their 
Eepublic. We are statesmen and politicians. It is 



390 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



characteristic of those who bear such names, the wide 
world over, to select such words in the papers they 
may prepare, as may best conceal their thoughts — to 
use professions as a blind for their intentions — to hide 
their selfishness, profligacy and cruelty, under the 
cover of lofty patriotism and comprehensive philan- 
thropy. To the general rule thus indicated, we do not 
pretend to be exceptions. Throughout this Convention 
it is understood, that to establish Justice, means to in- 
flict injustice ; to secure the blessings of Liberty for 
ourselves and our posterity, means to saddle the curse 
of slavery on ourselves and our descendants ; and to 
promote the General "Welfare, means to encourage the 
strong to build themselves up on the ruins of the weak. 
This secret understanding, it is confidently and gene- 
rally affirmed, is the true key by which the mysteries 
of our organic laws are to be unlocked — by which the 
Constitution is to be interpreted ! 

Great, good and venerable men are of course to be 
gratefully regarded as examples which all their fellows 
may well study and imitate. They are to be cherished 
as models. The wise and provident father may be ex- 
pected to avail himself of their presence and history 
in training up his children to usefulness and honor. I 
hear him, surrounded by well-grown sons, proudly ex- 
claim : "Lift up your eyes to the Founders of the Ee- 
public — the Fathers of their Country — the statesmen 
to whom was intrusted the sublime task of framing its 
organic laws. Seize on the principles by which they 
were governed, catch the spirit which they breathed, 
adopt the methods which they employed. In all your 
various intercourse with others, avail yourselves as 
cunningly as possible of the great expedient of a secret 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



391 



understanding. In your professions, you cannot make 
too much of justice, freedom, magnanimity. You can- 
not better employ your tongues than in magnifying 
these ever-during names. In meeting their demands, 
let words of respect and confidence be freely lavished. 
But then, in all the various relations of life, bring the 
secret understanding artifice into full requisition. Why 
should you be embarrassed with the laws of language 
— with the established usages of your mother tongue ? 
In the name of the secret understanding, which is so 
vital to the authority and influence of the Constitution 
— which, more than every thing else, gives character 
to the history of your country, bid all such things 
stern defiance. In making bargains, in raising expec- 
tations, in contracting marriage, in wielding the elect- 
ive franchise, in accepting office, in joining the church 
— throughout the entire compass of the social sphere, 
never stick at any secret understanding which may pro- 
mise to lighten your burdens or gratify your passions 
or promote your interests. According to this, what- 
ever it may be — however obviously and harshly in 
conflict with the natural import of the words you may 
utter ; according to this, dispose of your declarations, as- 
surances and engagements. The more frequently, 
promptly and unscrupulously you do so, the sooner 
will you be admitted to fellowship with the glorious 
names in whom the constructive laws of the Republic 
had their origin. 

To ascribe any such secret understanding to the au- 
thors of the Constitution, is to hold them up before the 
world as a knot of unscrupulous, reckless, audacious 
adventurers — thoroughly practised in falsehood, hypo- 
crisy, treachery — mean, dastardly, cruel ; deserving 



392 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



only the stern abhorrence and scathing execration of 
all mankind. Who can see them now fiddling, now 
gambling, and again scattering " fire-brands, arrows 
and death" all around, with their secret understanding, 
without detesting their memory, and spewing their 
accursed names out of his mouth ? Why, our noisy 
demagogues, and swollen statesmen and servile par- 
sons, are mighty busy in the conspiracy they have 
made to damn the framers of the Constitution to ever- 
lasting contempt or burning infamy. Give these shal- 
low, malignant busy-bodies their way, and our organic 
laws will presently become a " hissing and a by- word" 
throughout the earth. They are eager to wither and 
blast and destroy whatever in our institutions and 
arrangements they can lay their hands upon. 

Slavery in the Constitution ! Where ? Does it lie 
t concealed like a snake in the grass among the objects 
which the Preamble enumerates and presents ? Did it 
spring out of honest, earnest efforts to establish justice, 
secure and diffuse the blessings of freedom, or to pro- 
mote the general welfare ? Establish justice by tramp- 
ling down inalienable rights ! Secure and diffuse the 
blessings of freedom by riveting the chains of slavery 
on helpless innocence ! Promote the general welfare 
by murderously assailing the only principles on which 
we can rise to health and vigor and blessedness ! Slav- 
ery and the Preamble are irreconcilably in conflict 
with each other. And the Preamble contains the sum 
and substance — the pith and marrow of the Constitu- 
tion. Whatever is inconsistent with the one, must be 
hostile to the other. 

But, in opposition to this conclusion, it is affirmed in 
high places and in low- — in the pulpit and in the gro- 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



893 



eery — in the hall of Legislation and at the gambling- 
table — on the Bench and in the brothel, that the Con- 
stitution gives its countenance and support to slavery 
in three several sections. The foreign slave-trade was 
to be continued till 1808 ; three fifths of the slaves 
were to be admitted into the basis of representation 
in the House of Eepresentatives ; and fugitives from 
among the slaves were to be restored to their masters. 
Such, to be sure, is not the language of the Constitu- 
tion. The word slave is not there recorded ; nor any 
phrase at all equivalent to it in signification. Certainly 
not. But then we are reminded of the secret under- 
standing — by which, for aught we know, our wives and 
daughters may be destined to the auction-block. For 
wherever the rights of mankind may be concerned, the 
secret understanding is the end of the law. 

Now, whoever will examine the sections thus ad- 
verted to, will see that the language there employed is 
totally and flagrantly inconsistent with the notion that 
the Constitution gives countenance and support to 
slavery. Those to whom these sections are there ap- 
plied, are described by a term as intelligible and defi- 
nite in its meaning as any other in the English lan- 
guage. It is the term Persons. No hint is there 
suggested, that it is there employed in anywise at all 
unusual. It is of course to be received and applied 
according to the established usages of the tongue to 
which it belongs ; and this by a sovereign, imperious 
necessity, under which we are placed, and from which 
we cannot escape. Personality has a nature, has ele- 
ments, has attributes, has relations, has rights, duties 
and claims appropriately and wholly its own. It is 
essentially and everlastingly distinguished from Pro- 
17* 



894 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



perty, under whatever form, name or condition. The 
one is vitally and immutably set apart from the other. 
Nothing can be more absurd, rash and wicked, than 
the attempt, however made, to thrust the one into the 
place of the other — to treat the one as if entitled to 
the regard which may be due to the other. 

Man, as an / myself, bears the image of the Creator. 
Himself was the model on which our nature was 
fashioned. He is the Soul of Legislation. All laws 
have their origin and home in his bosom. They are a 
reflection, a revelation, a manifestation of his majesty. 
And as formed in his likeness, man is able to under 
stand, to apply, to yield a conscious and cordial obe- 
dience to the laws of the heavenly kingdom. He can 
lay hold of their import, avail himself of their guid- 
ance and protection, and act with an earnest reference 
to the rewards and the penalties by which they are 
enforced. Under the Divine authority he is capable 
of self-government ; and through this, of guiding and 
protecting and controlling his fellows. He is thus 
qualified and authorized to hold the place, wield the 
prerogatives and enjoy the privilege of an / myself— 
to claim and appropriate whatever may inhere in person- 
ality. And of all the creatures to which we here have 
access, he alone. He is thus capable of wielding and 
appropriating whatever benefits the great word govern- 
ment describes. He is a person. 

JSTow, Property is essentially other than Personality. 
It is marked vitally by other elements, and sustains 
vitally other relations. It has no consciousness of the 
laws of its existence. Eesponsibility to Law it cannot 
feel — obedience to Law it cannot render. It is amen- 
able to no tribunal ; cannot consciously earn rewards 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



895 



or deserve punishments. It cannot ascend to the sphere 
of voluntary agency. 

Property is dependent upon, and belongs to, Person- 
ality. Aside from Personality it .has — it can have no 
characteristic existence — can by no means be Property. 
The name it bears would be an empty sound — utterly 
unintelligible and insignificant. It is its relation to 
some I myself which gives it all its worth. To this it 
owes its very existence as Property. 

Grammarians describe two classes of words under 
the general name of Pronouns : the one as personal 
and the other as possessive. To the former class -be- 
long I, thou, he, under all their modifications. To 
the latter, mine, thine, his, in their various applications. 
Now, in the personal inhere the possessive. The latter 
is dependent upon, and belongs to, the former. Blot 
out the personal and what becomes of the possessive ? 

In the construction under which the Constitution is 
generally applied in this Kepublic, Personality and 
Property — essentially, radically, everlastingly distinct 
and separate — are confounded with each other in esti- 
mating the claims and disposing of the interests of the 
enslaved. They are legally described as "chattels 
personal in the hands of their owners and possessors, 
and their executors, administrators and assigns to all 
intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever." They 
are, and are to be regarded as property. As such, they 
are to be estimated, described and treated. As such, 
they are to be brought into subserviency to the tastes, 
the convenience, the appetites of their owners. They 
may be bought and sold — may be whipped and chained 
as the passions of their master may demand, or his 
caprices may dictate. By day, by night — in the house 



396 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and in the field — at home and abroad, they are at his 
disposal. He may rob them, ravish them, kill them 
with impunity. They are his property. And yet the 
code beneath which they are crushed, regards them, 
whenever in so doing it can increase their injuries, and 
intensify their sufferings, as endowed with personality. 
With all the exposures of outlawry upon them, they 
are put under law, not for guidance and protection, but 
to aggravate the exposures and inflictions to which 
they are liable as property, by adding legal pains and 
penalties. They may not only be unruly as chattels, 
but* commit crimes as persons. They are thus supposed 
to be endowed with the elements and attributes of an 
I myself wherever through any such endowment their 
existence may be rendered more darkly and bitterly a 
curse. And so, from the cradle to the grave, they are 
forced to run the gauntlet — one row of scourgers beat- 
ing them as property, and the other, as personality ! 
Placed between the two, what hope of repose or re- 
prieve can remain ? I have sometimes likened their 
condition to the ceaseless swing of a pendulum from one 
extreme to the other. At this point they are threat- 
ened with punishment as if capable of comprehending 
law and honoring its demands ; but in the twinkling 
of an eye they are thrust down to a place among chat- 
tels, wholly at the disposal of an owner ! Thus they 
pass from one extreme to the other — swinging at the 
mercy of the oppressor back and forth without end — 
without intermission ! At morning, noon and night — 
when we sleep and when we wake — in the midst of 
business and in the midst of amusement — at home and 
abroad, we may behold the forlorn wretches — the vic- 
tims of the grossest absurdities qualified by the most 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



397 



revolting wickedness, subject to all that is anomalous 
and to all that is excruciating, and to all that is degrad- 
ing in being thrown back and forth from personality 
to property — from property to personality. And all 
this for the sake of rendering the insults, which are 
thrown in their faces, more biting and blistering, and 
the injuries which are heaped upon their exposed and 
helpless forms, more cruel and crushing ! 

And must we try to swallow and digest such absurd 
ities ? And why ? Whence may any such grim 
necessity arise ? And for whose sake — for what pur- 
pose must we submit to its demands ? That we may, 
under legal disguises, assail all that is sacred in the 
natural rights of mankind ? That we may trample on 
the bond which unites the children of Adam into one 
family ? That we may deny the brotherhood of the 
numan race ? That we may more effectually and 
hopelessly crush helpless, outraged innocence ? That 
we may whelm the broken-hearted in the depths of 
everlasting despair ? That we may fall foul of our- 
selves — plunging headlong into darkness, impotence 
and infamy — wantonly, recklessly, rudely throwing 
away the prerogatives and privileges which belong to 
the nature we have inherited ? Are we so madly bent 
on folly, sin, damnation ? 

Are we not as truly and fully Men as were any of 
our fathers, whenever they might have lived, and 
whatsoever position they might have occupied ? Was 
our existence absorbed and swallowed up in theirs, so 
that none of us has any fair claim to a distinct person- 
ality with its prerogatives and privileges ? Did they 
think and resolve and act for us — so as to supersede 
thought, endeavor, exertion on our part and for our 



898 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



own behoof ? Do we not occupy ground as elevated 
as they cultivated, and with as large advantages and 
as vigorous powers ? Are our relations at all less 
various, extended and significant than theirs ? Are 
not our responsibilities as far-reaching and as solemn ? 
Do we not as truly as they receive, under whatever 
construction, the Constitution for ourselves ? Must we 
not, in obedience to the laws of language, interpret it 
for ourselves — in the use of our own understandings 
and in the light which Eeason sheds upon our own 
consciousness ? Are we not as truly and as fully as 
our fathers capable of, and entitled to, self-government ? 
And does not the Constitution encourage and protect 
us in its legitimate exercise ? 

The declarations of the Constitution are clear, defi- 
nite, decided. The objects which they describe and 
commend are imperatively demanded by the Idea of 
Law — by the Soul of Legislation. They are worthy 
of the highest place in our thoughts, affections and en- 
deavors. They are so in themselves — apart from their 
recognition in the Constitution. We cannot ignore or 
trample on them without throttling our own manhood. 
In setting them forth as intrinsically sacred^ — as claim- 
ing of us heartfelt homage and resolute pursuit, the 
Constitution speaks with authority and is entitled to 
obedience. — Now, suppose it could be shown that in 
some incidental particulars it is inconsistent with itself ; 
that in some respects it seems obscurely to authorize 
what, in the clear and strong annunciation of its pur- 
poses it pointedly and emphatically forbids — enjoining 
here and there absurdities and sins in opposition to the 
sublime ends which it avowedly recognizes and sub- 
serves ; suppose all this, what then ? What position 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



399 



in our relations to such a Constitution ought we to 
assume — what course ought we to pursue ? Are we, 
in opposition to its authority, to adjust ourselves to its 
inconsistencies and govern ourselves by its absurdities ? 
It is most clear and certain, that it requires us to exert 
ourselves for the establishment of justice ; and this as 
an all-absorbing, all-controlling purpose. Are we, out 
of regard to some obscure and doubtful hint, to lend 
ourselves to the infliction of injustice, foul and fla- 
grant ! It requires us in the plainest terms, and in the 
most solemn manner, to provide for ourselves and our 
posterity the blessings of Liberty. Are we, in the face 
and eyes of this requisition, and from respect to some 
oracular hint, received in opposition to the laws and 
usages of the English tongue ; are we to occupy our- 
selves with sustaining and multiplying the monuments 
of slavery ? Are we thus to prefer doubtful excep- 
tions to the well-established general principle ? To 
exalt enigmatical anomalies above plain, explicit and 
most healthful Legislation ? Are we required thus to 
lay truth, reason, honor — every thing bright, beautiful, 
blessed — the authority of God and the welfare of man 
on the altar of devils ? "Who demands this most ob- 
scene and abominable sacrifice at our hands ? What 
sort of a tongue must he carry in his mouth, who in 
response can exclaim : Our dead ancestors ! Such a 
requisition could be enforced by no authority on earth 
or in heaven. 

Clearly, there is only one way of honoring the 
claims of the Constitution ; and that must be by wisely 
and resolutely promoting the objects to which it is 
avowedly devoted. Thus, and thus only, can we put 
ourselves in harmony with its spirit — thus, and thus 



400 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



only, submit to its authority. If any incidental fea- 
ture can be detected in it in conflict with the sublime 
objects which it avows, that feature must have been 
admitted unconstitutionally. Whoever may adjust 
himself to it in his aims and activity, falls foul of 
the Constitution. Whoever charges this upon the 
framers of the Constitution, charges them tviffi legisla- 
tive suicide. Let us beware, under whatever con- 
struction we may read their history, of assuming any 
such attitude. Let us cherish in our hearts, and em- 
body in our history an earnest, affectionate regard for 
the objects which the Constitution describes and com- 
mends. 



IDEAS AND PHENOMENA. 



We find ourselves in the midst of Appearances, mul- 
tiplied and various. These reach our consciousness 
through the senses with which we are endowed. They 
are adapted each to a class of Phenomena, to which, we 
have access. For whatever the sphere of vision com- 
prehends, we have a corresponding organ which we 
call the eye ; every where amidst the sounds, which 
are all abroad, the ear is at home at our service ; and 
touch and taste bring us into communication with the 
objects to which they are respectively adapted. Thus, 
as adjusted to it, we make our entrance into the ex- 
ternal world. Thus we gain access to the elements of 
which it is composed and by which it is distinguished ; 
thus become acquainted with their characteristics and 
relations ; thus learn to bring them into subserviency 
to the designs with which we may be engrossed. 

The appearances, to which I have adverted, are far 
enough from insignificant. True, they report them- 
selves as shadowy, mutable and short-lived. In this 
respect they may well be described by bold and start- 
ling metaphors. A flower about to wither, a dream on 
the point of evanishing, a bubble ready to break — such 
figures thoughtful observers are here tempted to em- 
ploy. They therefore bid us beware of ascribing to 
mere appearances any intrinsic worth ; of fastening 
ourselves fondly and confidingly upon what cannot 
nourish or strengthen or refresh. To do so, they assure 
us, must be to plunge headlong into utter bankruptcy. 
Yet these things, so to be described, are the product of 



402 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Wisdom. They must, therefore, liave a meaning wor- 
thy of their origin. They are, in many ways, and in 
a high degree, adapted to our necessities, and promot- 
ive of our welfare. In their natural relations and 
proper uses, they can hardly be overrated. They offer 
us their services just there where, without their inter- 
vention, the ends of our existence could not be reached 
— could not even be apprehended. They furnish us 
with the symbols through which we may lay hold of 
the substantial and imperishable benefits which our 
birthright involves — through which we may get pos- 
session of our natural inheritance. This consists of the 
priceless entities to which the higher elements of our 
nature are adapted ; which thus lie within the compass 
of our being ; and which, therefore, as a matter of 
study, acquisition and enj^ment belong to us consti- 
tutionally. Principles, Ideas, Law^s in all their 
worth and dignity and beauty — under all their names 
and aspects and bearings — with their high demands, 
their sovereign influences, their sublime results ; these 
constitute for us whatever may be entitled to thought, 
affection, endeavor — in these are hidden the vitality of 
our life, the vigor of our strength, the fountain of our 
joys. These comprehend for us whatever may be 
grand in the Past, significant in the Present, inspiring 
in the Future. And these reveal themselves to our 
consciousness in the Appearances which every where 
surround us. In them, Ideas are realized, Principles 
expressed, Laws proclaimed. And all this decisively, 
peremptorily, authoritatively. A sovereign influence 
reaches the very depths of our spirits. It penetrates, 
pervades, controls. It awakens within us a sense of 
obligation. It reveals to us the Divine presence and 
majesty. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



403 



These results, so full of weight and worth, grow out 
of the nature we have inherited amidst the relations 
we sustain, and the influences which are unceasingly 
exerted for our benefit. Within the compass of our 
existence, as incorporated in our structure, such ele- 
ments announce themselves as respond to the Pheno- 
menal on the one hand and the Ideal on the other. 
Thus constructed and endowed, we have a natural in- 
terest — a property in the one and the other in their 
mutual relations and various bearings. They belong to 
us. Their presence, their significance, their claims, we 
are able to understand and honor. We are able to 
identify ourselves with them, under their appropriate 
characters, respectively ; to get possession of the ex- 
haustless wealth inherent in them, and to refresh our- 
selves with the unfading beauty with which they are 
ever radiant. We need, not, as we cannot, go beyond 
the proper limits of our existence to appropriate what- 
ever they contain. To this, if we are true to ourselves, 
we shall find ourselves equally disposed and adapted. 
The more deepty, broadly, vigorously human we may 
be, the more certainly and fully shall we be able to 
avail ourselves of the symbols which offer themselves 
to our service — the more facile and rapid will be our 
ascent through Appearances to the Substantial and 
Imperishable. 

The story of Isaac Newton's apple has often been 
related. Learned writers have of late assured us that 
we need not doubt its authenticity. It was a common 
occurrence — an appearance often witnessed, which 
caught the eye of the Philosopher. Its symbolic im- 
port he now perceived. It announced the presence of 
a Principle, full of vitality, of wide application and of 



404 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



high authority. The ear of the philosopher was open. 
The phenomenon was all luminous with a lofty mean- 
ing. It proclaimed the Law of Gravitation. It an- 
nounced a Truth, immutable and eternal, on which 
Newton eagerly seized, reverently studied, and loyally 
applied — which he illustrated for the benefit of his 
Fellows as a constructive element of the Universe. 
This Principle was embodied and revealed in the fall 
of the apple. That appearance, however trivial in 
itself, was pregnant with exhaustless meaning. It was 
a letter in Heaven's alphabet, significant of grand con- 
clusions, with very vital and very various bearings. 

In your morning walk in the garden, a rose in full 
bloom, young, fresh, dewy, catches your eye. You 
pause, long and silently. Its presence makes you glad 
— diffuses through your consciousness the sentiment of 
admiration. The impression which it makes upon you, 
gains utterance at length in the exclamation, How 
beautiful ! It becomes for you a symbol of beauty. 
That Idea beams brightly and blessedly upon you 
through the flower in which it is enshrined. Beauty 
is the soul, of which the rose is the body. — The little 
girl whom Wordsworth met, and who persisted so art- 
lessly in describing herself as one of seven, some alive 
and some dead, was indebted to the same Idea for the 
strong attractions which drew the Poet to her presence. 
She was radiant with beauty. It looked through her 
eyes, it smiled on her lips, it diffused itself over her 
face and figure. She was, all unconsciously, its living 
temple. And there the Poet worshipped. "Her 
beauty," he assures us, " made him glad." He rejoiced 
in it as a treasure to which he was naturally entitled. 

Thomas Carlyle describes Francia, the former Auto- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



4.05 



crat of Paraguay, as resisting, promptly and sternly, the 
attempts of his Friend to inflict wanton injuries on his 
Enemy. The former expected — demanded his counte- 
nance and support — would have purchased the one and 
the other with a handful of gold ; but was greeted with 
an emphatic denial and with scathing rebukes — was 
driven indignantly from his presence. To the latter — 
his own Enemy, astonished at the magnanimity of the 
great Lawyer, he offered, unsolicited, his sympathy and 
assistance. The offer was gratefully accepted ; and re- 
sulted in a successful endeavor to vindicate the right. 
The position, the spirit, the exertions of Francia in 
this memorable instance fill the observer with awe. 
The Idea of Justice rises in native majesty to his con- 
sciousness. He bows reverently to the great presence. 
It pervades his inmost spirit, awakening there a re- 
newed sense of obligation. Justice shines through 
this passage in human history. 

Thus the Actual reveals the Ideal, and the Ideal 
beams through the Actual ; thus Phenomena suggest 
Principles, and Principles gain utterance in Pheno- 
mena ; thus Laws manifest their presence and assert 
their authority in the forms which Obedience organ- 
izes, and thus Obedience points reverently to the Laws 
to which it adjusts itself; thus the Spirit breathes 
through the Letter, and the Letter symbolizes the 
Spirit. 

In their relations to Appearances on the one hand, 
and to the Substance underlying these on the other, the 
members of the Human Family are divided into two 
classes. — A great majority occupies itself with Appear- 
ances. These, under their various forms and bearings, 
engross their thoughts, absorb their affections, enlist 



406 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



their active powers — fill the field of their vision and 
activity. They prize and pursue the Phenomenal for 
its own sake — on its own account. It dogs them by 
day and haunts them by night. They regard nothing, 
whatever, wherever, however it may be, as too signifi- 
cant and sacred to be sacrificed in the acquisition of 
what they reckon so essential to their happiness. For 
this they traverse sea and land — expose themselves to 
exhausting toil and intense suffering — and part with 
conscience, character and reputation. Whatever may 
please the senses, pamper the appetites, gratify the pas- 
sions, they eagerly seize upon as attractive and signifi- 
cant. The invisible, the intangible, the etherial, they 
leave to those who may have taste and time and 
strength for any such acquisitions. 

You may find them in great numbers in the sphere 
of mechanical activity. They may not be wanting in 
enterprise and diligence. The work of their hands is 
often admirable; is generally more or less happily 
adapted to the ends for which it was designed. I have 
seen productions from this quarter of exquisite work- 
manship and surpassing beauty. Our Fellows in China 
seem to excel in such attempts. But in all their de- 
signs and in all their achievements, they are driven for 
counsel and guidance beyond the limits of the class to 
which they themselves belong. Constructive Principles 
they do not recognize and study. These have never 
risen definitely and clearly, to their consciousness. 
They do not even suspect that every form of mechan- 
ism has naturally a living soul, from which it derives 
all its worth and influence. The productions of their 
hands originate elsewhere than in the depths of their 
existence. The mere Artisan seeks models — looks for 



SERMONS ASD DISCOURSES. 



407 



patterns among the external objects to which he may 
have access. These he seizes eagerly, holds firmly, 
and applies with a blind, unquestioning confidence. 
He is tied up to the use of patterns. And for these he is 
indebted to the genius of those with whom he never 
aspires to identify himself. 

So, too, the Agriculturist may try to honor his re- 
sponsibilities, and to satisfy himself in the field and 
garden by imitating others, and especially his Fathers. 
That the art with which he is occupied is naturally an 
embodiment of Principles which demand his earnest 
study and heartfelt homage, may or may not be to be 
affirmed. He gives no heed to any such proposition. 
Book-farming he holds in light estimation. To be 
sure he has heard that, to the genius of deep Thinkers 
he is indebted for the improved implements which 
render his exertions so facile and effective. He has 
heard, too, of the wonderful results in one case and 
another of scientific farming. But he is too stupid or 
self-indulgent to give earnest heed to such reports. He 
is not aroused to thought, inquiry, experiment. He 
prefers to plod on in the beaten track ; to do as others 
do, without aspiring to be superior to his Fellows. 
And so the blind horse urges his weary way around 
the mill. 

In the sphere of Politics our Fellows generally are 
occupied with lifeless forms. The organizations to 
which they eagerly and loudly lend their countenance 
and give their support, may be totally and flagrantly 
unworthy of their confidence. Whatever may be the 
name which any of them, this or that, may have ar- 
rogated to itself, it may fail to afford protection, guid- 
ance, encouragement. It may lack those elements and 



408 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



attributes which are essential to sovereignty. Its pre 
sence and activity may be every way and in a high 
degree disastrous. The prerogatives, privileges and 
immunities, to which its subjects may be entitled, and 
which it is its natural office to assert and protect on 
their behalf, it may itself cunningly and malignantly 
assail. Those who are especially exposed to insult 
and outrage — whom popular prejudice may flout or 
crush as outcasts, it may most gratuitously and wan- 
tonly visit with its heaviest inflictions. It may encour- 
age, as it often has encouraged, desperate ruffians to 
gratify their worst passions — their foulest lusts at the 
expense of those whose welfare it is bound and pledged 
to cherish and promote. Thus it may itself be a most 
deadly scourge — a monstrous nuisance — accursed of 
God and a plague to mankind. Nothing else is any 
political organization, however originated ; under what- 
ever name it may be known ; and by whomsoever it 
may be supported, which, in all its arrangements and 
designs, is not true to the high claims of Justice and 
Humanity. It is not a government. The name it 
bears is most falsely and impudently assumed. It is a 
conspiracy, as malignant as it is imposing — as hurtful 
in its influence as it is exacting in its demands. Like 
other organized falsehoods, it belongs to the " Father 
of lies." And the sooner it "goes to its own place" 
the better for " all who are concerned." — But as it has 
a name, and makes a figure, and urges claims in the 
sphere of government, the majority, comprehending 
the rich and the poor, the learned and the rude, the 
baptized and the unbaptized, ascribe to it a real sover- 
eignty. They render to it the honors which they pro- 
nounce due to a divine institution. They proclaim it 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



409 



Heaven-originated. It represents, they assure us, the 
Eternal Throne. They demand for it respect, homage, 
support. All earnest efforts to expose, resist, abolish 
it, they condemn as rebellious. It is treason, they 
allege, to oppose it while scattering all abroad, as it is 
continually scattering all abroad, " fire-brands, arrows 
and death. 77 

In this Eepublic the name of legislative authority is 
prostituted to the foulest uses and the most infamous 
purposes. Forms, distorted by the grossest absurdities, 
and charged with deadly malignity, are here permitted 
to arrogate to themselves the sacred name of Law. 
With mock dignity and solemnity the miscreants who 
enact them, deliberately stab at the very vitals of our 
common Humanity. They impiously assail the infinite 
"Wisdom in raising Personality unapproachably, essen- 
tially, everlastingly above Property, however consti- 
tuted and described. They claim the power and assert 
the right of reducing the former to the level of the 
latter ; and foolhardily, audaciously, blasphemously 
declare, that in thousands upon thousands of instances 
Human creatures are by nature and birth — are "to all 
intents and purposes whatsoever, articles of merchan- 
dise I" In no case can they wield the prerogatives and 
enjoy the privileges which are involved in the birth- 
right of every child of Adam ! The creatures who, 
under the abused name of Judges, occupy the loftiest 
tribunals, deny, with stony hearts and brazen lips deny 
the common rights of citizenship to their unoffending 
yet exposed Fellows, if marked by the accident of a 
dark complexion. And in perpetrating this daring 
and damned iniquity— this most foul and revolting 
crime, all sorts of titled things, whether they occupy 
18 



410 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



positions generally described as legislative or judicial 
or executive, eagerly and shamelessly unite ; the one 
in framing bloody bills ; another in intensifying and 
aggravating their malignant tendencies by inhuman 
interpretations and murderous constructions ; and the 
third by rushing with blood-hound impetuosity and re- 
lentless cruelty to their execution ! All this, variously 
modified, has been obtruded, age after age, officiously 
and audaciously, upon all the members of this Repub- 
lic — has been obtruded upon them at all times and in 
all places — has dogged them on all high- ways and by- 
ways — has bent grimly over their pillows, forced its 
way to the head of their tables, and trodden on their 
heels when they went out and when they came in ! 
And yet by overwhelming majorities, they persist in 
describing this accursed conspiracy as a government, 
armed by high Heaven with a true sovereignty ! They 
well-nisrh universallv identify themselves with it in 
every thing essential in its structure and characteristic 
in its history — magnifying its demands on the general 
confidence, and giving it their countenance and sup- 
port ! It is enough for them that it bears the name, 
and wears the titles, and wields the prerogatives, and 
clutches the emoluments which they take to be appro- 
priate to the ruling power. They, therefore, bow to its 
usurped authority in the face and eyes of the exactions 
and encroachments and red-handed tyrannies which it 
malignantly and remorselessly practises ! While lead- 
ing them, open-eyed, to Hell, they proclaim it an ordi- 
nation of Heaven ! To such extremes, so gross and 
deadly, are they driven by yielding to the control of 
mere appearances. 

Nor do they occupy ground at all more exalted and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



411 



substantial amidst their ecclesiastical relations. How 
can they ? They will of course be characteristically 
themselves, in all conditions and on all occasions. He 
who can recognize a king in a Catiline may easily 
recognize a priest in a Caiaphas. He who refuses to 
distinguish between a government and a conspiracy, 
will hardly see any essential difference between the 
church and "a den of thieves." He will occupy him- 
self with names and titles ; with shows, however hol- 
low, and pretensions, however idle or extravagant. He 
sees temples and altars and vestments — he witnesses 
imposing rites and hallowed usages — creeds and pro- 
fessions, sermons— the uplifted eye, the solemn voice, 
the prayer, loud and long ; to such things he ascribes, 
without inquiry or reflection he ascribes the presence 
and the power of a true religion ! And this, where 
the aims and the spirit and the influence of Loyalty on 
the one hand and of Philanthropy on the other, are 
undeniably wanting ! Nay, where the authority of 
God and the welfare of man are rudely and ruthlessly 
trodden under foot ! All this has been witnessed 
times unnumbered, and in ways most gross and revolt- 
ing, wherever Popery prevails. The most palpable 
absurdities, the most flagitious vices, the most revolt- 
ing crimes there may prevail as they have prevailed, 
even among those who occupy the loftiest positions and 
assume the most hallowed titles without reducing the 
confidence of their sodden-eyed adherents in their 
sanctity and authority ! Father Richard may be 
grossly vicious ; but what has this to do with his 
priestly influence or ghostly prerogatives ? 

And the prevalent religion among ourselves, while 
word- wise, it protests against all this, gives its confidence 



412 



SER3I0XS A2sD DISCOURSES. 



and support but too generally to baptized pretensions 
and consecrated appearances. These it eagerly wel- 
comes, sumptuously maintains, stoutly defends. To 
extend all abroad the influence of these, it " compasses 
sea and land" It loudly proclaims these essential to 
the future welfare of mankind. On this it represents 
itself as intent as the all-commanding object of aspira- 
tion and endeavor. And yet while it asserts word- 
wise so roundly and so emphatically the sovereignty 
of Jesus, it resists deed- wise his authority. It refuses 
to exert itself to protract and extend the influence 
which his presence and activity so widely and gen- 
erously diffused around him. Nay, it throws itself at 
points the most vital, and in respects the most essential, 
into direct antagonism to him in his efforts to raise the 
children of Adam to the enjoyment of their birth- 
right. For man, as Man, He labored and suffered ; 
whether Jew or Gentile — Pharisee or Publican — Bond 
or Free. His bearinsr toward the one and the other 
was equally fraternal. The patrons and supporters of 
the prevalent religion, occupied with the external, the 
incidental, the partial, the temporary, give their coun- 
tenance to a most unnatural division of the Human 
Family into cliques and clans and sects — into mutually 
repulsive and repellent fragments. He preferred 
u mercy to sacrifice," and they prefer sacrifice to mercy. 
He was intent on raising men through loyalty to hea- 
ven ; and they, on bringing Heaven down to the im- 
piety and misanthropy which they so cunningly ex- 
cuse or so zealously defend. His presence was a 
pointed, stern rebuke to the absurd, the self-indulgent 
— to empty, showy pretenders of all sorts and on all 
occasions ; they encourage or endure, say under the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



413 



name of slavery, the most complicated and murderous 
system of villainy and wickedness which the ingenuity 
of man or devil could invent. All this, openly and 
notoriously. Yet it continues to be the prevalent reli- 
gion, by virtue of the names and forms and professions 
with which it so cunningly gambles. 

In the class thus introduced and described, the Ani- 
mal predominates. It is encouraged and seconded in 
the claims to supremacy, which it most blindly and 
arrogantly urges. Thus the powers and resources of 
those who welcome its presence and yield to its de- 
mands, are placed at its disposal. The higher elements 
of our nature— the Human within us, it cannot indeed 
extinguish. They are imperishable — everlastingly 
vital to our existence. But it can ignore, or abuse, or 
pervert them. It can neutralize their influence or 
bring them into subserviency to its designs. And 
what in this direction it can, it never fails to perpe- 
trate. The Animal is evermore predominant in those 
who are controlled by appearances. They every where 
clamorously offer to "sell their birthright for a mess 
of pottage ;" every where prefer the gratification of 
their senses and their passions to the prerogatives and 
privileges which belong to their humanity. And so 
they plunge headlong into darkness and embarrass- 
ment. They are one thing in nature and another in 
aim and exertion. The Laws of their existence they 
ignore or trample on. They waste their strength in 
a constant struggle to reduce, to cripple, to degrade 
themselves. Above the brutes around them by nature, 
they sink far below them in their practice. The powers 
and prerogatives which the former do not possess, the 
latter despise and profane. The brute is constitution- 



414 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ally so ; and in behaving brutally behaves naturally 
and fitly ; but when man behaves brutally, he falls 
foul of himself, violates the principles of his own ex- 
istence, and becomes unnatural and monstrous. His 
condition becomes of course alike repulsive and piti- 
able. At strife with himself, he cannot be at peace 
with his Fellows. He is out of tune amidst celestial 
harmonies. He wages war with the Soul of Nature. 
He is an alien in his native land ; and poverty-stricken, 
with the richest inheritance within the reach of his 
arm. 

The ground which they occupy, and the objects 
which they pursue, they do not understand and cannot 
explain. They do not care to inquire how they reached 
the field of activity where they are toiling ; or whence 
they came and whither they are going. Here they are 
with their appetites and passions ; with multiplied and 
pressing necessities which clamorously demand of each 
of them what he is ill able to afford. He feels im- 
pelled, however, to make the attempt ; and to repeat 
it again and again, however fruitless his exertions. 
How can he forbear, goaded on by imperious lusts 
from within and fierce temptations from without ? 

The methods which he may employ in his endeavors 
can hardly be other than ill-advised and unhappy. He 
is at the mercy of appearances, whose import and 
bearing he never yet perceived — never even studied. 
They are for him accidental. As such, he adjusts him- 
self with little thought and much haste to their de- 
mands. He is accordingly driven from pillar to post — 
fluctuating amidst conflicting forces — retracing to-day 
the steps which he yesterday laboriously took — undo- 
ing with one hand what the other had constructed. No 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



415 



steady light slimes upon his thoughts to enable him to 
select the ways and means which may be adapted to 
successful effort. The awkwardness of his attempts 
occasion him excessive toil and exhausting labors. It 
is only by "the sweat of his brow" that he accom- 
plishes any thing on which he may be intent. The 
fallen tree, which he would remove to his wood-yard, 
he drags along, top foremost ! 

The Active Faculty with which, as a man, he is 
armed, and in which is lodged his executive powers, 
lacks the guidance and support of the Eeason. Its 
Laws he refuses to study and obey. The light, clear 
and certain, which it pours all around, he refuses to 
appropriate and apply. He thus involves himself in 
darkness, and of course perplexity. Doubt, uncer- 
tainty, apprehension reduce his strength. He cannot 
perceive the grounds on which any of his attempts 
may be justified, nor the results they may be adapted 
to produce. He has renounced the authority of Sea- 
son ; and must exert himself as best he may without 
the guidance and support of Principles — must stumble 
along, he knows not how nor whither. 

And falling out with Reason, he throws himself into 
conflict with the arrangements and forces which Na- 
ture provides : for all these have their origin in Reason 
and respond promptly and fully to its demands. He, 
therefore, who renounces its authority is hostile to 
these arrangements. In his objects, plans, exertions, 
lie resists the influence they are continually and effect- 
ively exerting. He will not put himself into the atti- 
tude in which he may avail himself of the forces, 
living and exhaustless, which are here provided. As 
he is against Nature, how can Nature be his auxiliary ? 



416 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



The nature which lives within him and breathes all 
around him ; which, however ignored or contemned or 
resisted, is only and everlastingly wise, strong and 
beneficent. How can he succeed in his designs, who 
in these designs employs unnatural expedients and puts 
forth unnatural exertions ? However defiantly and 
persistently he may gnaw the file, it is clear enough 
that the file will remain itself without the least impres- 
sion or the slightest wound, while he will carry away 
worn-out teeth and a bleeding mouth. 

Thus representing the class to which he belongs, he 
will feel himself doomed to baffled efforts — to a sweat- 
ful, ineffectual drudgery. Necessities, some natural 
and some factitious, drive him along. He cannot pause 
in his career. However dark or slippery or precipitous 
the ground, he must take step after step. However 
thin and skittish the shadows may be, he recognizes 
nothing more exalted or substantial as an object of 
attachment and pursuit. The appearances he is de- 
voted to and intent upon may threaten to baffle or 
stifle him ; but he cannot persuade himself to look 
through them or rise above them. He takes them 
" for better or for worse," and holds on to the hot iron ! 

But it is time to turn, as I gladly turn, to the other 
class already gratefully and honorably introduced. 
The members are widely and sparsely scattered all 
abroad — one here and another there — "few and far 
between" — occupying retired nooks and obscure cor- 
ners. The animal of their nature, with its senses and 
appetites and passions — the material objects, amidst 
which they are placed, and to which they are related, 
they are far from regarding with indifference or con- 
tempt. Their eyes are open on the visible ; their ears 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



417 



welcome the voice of nature in the infinite variety of 
sound and accent with which it may be uttered ; to 
the impressions of touch and taste they are all alive. 
In all such phenomena they are far more deeply and 
gratefully interested than the sensualists around them. 
And well they may be. For upon the consciousness 
of each of them, the inner meaning, the deep signifi- 
cance of these appearances, shines certainly and clearly. 
For his benefit they are what their natural office indi- 
cates and requires. They are symbols, devised and 
arranged by the infinite Wisdom. They are signs — re- 
plete as such with the highest significance. They are 
letters in heaven's own alphabet. Blessed is he who, 
familiar with their form, understands and applies their 
import. 

He may find occupation in the sphere of mechanism. 
Here he may render service to his fellows in some of 
the various ways which their necessities may open and 
indicate. But with whatever specific designs he may 
be engrossed, he recognizes in his exertions the pre- 
sence and bows to the authority of the Principles which 
preside over his field of effort. These he studies and 
applies in the light of his own consciousness. They 
are there revealed as constructive Ideas. As such he 
adjusts himself to their demands. Their presence 
cheers, encourages, refreshes him. They are to him 
guidance and inspiration. He exerts himself reve- 
rently and gratefully to body them forth in the works 
of his hands. This is his aim, resolutely, steadily and 
persistently held. His success he estimates by a stand- 
ard, thence derived. Allegiance to constructive prin- 
ciples enables the Artist to work decided improve- 
ments into the productions of his skill and enterprise. 
18* 



418 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



His open eye appropriates a sure and piercing light. 
Whatever may be defective or awkward or obstruc- 
tive, it may readily detect. And his cordial, cherished 
affection for his art will impel him to struggle unwear- 
iedly for perfection. 

In his relations to, in his regard for any of the va- 
rious Institutions, which have been established for the 
benefit of mankind, he will adjust himself in thought, 
exertion, expectation, to its constructive Principle. 
This he regards as its soul and substance — its life and 
power. "Whatever influence it may exert for the be- 
nefit of the Human Family has in this its origin. 
Without this, it is first lifeless, and then injurious. 
" The letter killeth." He withdraws his allegiance 
promptly and fully from every Institution from which 
its constructive Principle — its vitalizing, enlightening, 
invigorating soul — has departed. 

In the sphere of Politics, he recognizes the presence, 
and bows to the authority of Government, wherever 
an however the sovereignty of God and the rights of 
men are asserted and maintained. Truth with him is 
the soul of Wisdom ; and Wisdom is the source of 
Power. He who is most loyal to Truth, is most 
wealthy in Wisdom. He wields a power alike effect- 
ive and beneficent. He is a Euler. A true sove- 
reignty beats in his heart, flows in his blood, manifests 
itself in his relations and exertions. Here a fair occa- 
sion, here rich nourishment are furnished, for the 
truest loyalty. And this our open-eyed, true-hearted 
observer, already introduced, clearly perceives and 
deeply feels. No matter under what guise, in what 
circumstances his sovereign, his superior in wisdom, 
power, magnanimity, may lift upon him and his fel- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



419 



lows a the light of his countenance ;" lie may be ap- 
proached as a member of a despised and outlawed 
class — may be occupied with obscure and menial tasks 
— may serve his generation in digging ditches or 
sweeping chimneys — all this, however modified, how- 
ever presented, in no way and to no extent reduces 
their respect for his claims or their reverence for his 
authority. Why should it work any such result? 
His character — his eminence in wisdom, goodness, 
power — is the substantial, immovable, imperishable 
basis of his sovereignty. All this, in the ears of the 
majority, may be mere jargon, alike unintelligible and 
impracticable. Let those who will, who can offer their 
allegiance to such " glittering abstractions" as Truth, 
Order, Justice, bow down here in heart-felt worship ; 
they must have something more tangible, more impos- 
ing, something which addresses itself more impress- 
ively to their senses, appetites and passions. But 
those whom I am now introducing to my readers, re- 
spect always and only what may be respectable ; con- 
fide always and only in the trustworthy ; always and 
only render homage where homage is clearly due, and 
must be largely rewarded. Here they recognize a gov- 
ernment in which the Eternal Throne is symbolized — 
in which love, confidence, obedience are a hallowed 
obligation and a rich privilege. 

They with whom we have now to do, distinguish 
most carefully and for the highest practical purposes 
between Laws and legislative forms. Any injunction 
which is not founded on, which is not adjusted to, 
which is not an expression of, Equity, has with them 
no authority. It cannot be better than a dead letter ; 
it may be vastly worse. If it require them to resist 



420 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



the humane impulses, which any occasion whatever 
may awaken within them, to stifle their own con- 
sciences, to fall foal of the nature by which they are 
distinguished, they trample it under foot. Obligations 
to suicide they cannot admit, and to assail the Human- 
ity " in which they live and move and have their be- 
ing," is manifestly suicidal : whether out of regard to 
some " Fugitive slave bill" or otherwise. Equity is 
with them the soul of legislation, the only substance 
of which Law can be constructed. No obligation in 
conflict with this is possible. This is the very home 
of obligation. It is evermore under whatever form or 
aspect or application — it is Duty. As Duty they re- 
gard it, and unweariedly endeavor to embody it in 
their history. 

Nor are they other than themselves in the sphere of 
ecclesiastical exercise and activity. To illustrate the 
Divine Perfections, to assert and maintain the Divine 
Authority, to commend and promote the Divine de- 
signs, they regard as the sole object for which this 
sphere was opened and occupied. " God manifest in 
the flesh" is here the presiding, sovereign Genius. His 
presence is here to be recognized, his counsels heeded, 
his commands obeyed, his smiles coveted and rejoiced 
in. He is especially here to be approached and vene- 
rated as the Father, Saviour, Treasure of the Human 
Family — to be served and confided in as the all-vital, 
the life-giving Bond — the majestic, beneficent Head, 
uniting the children of Adam into one fraternity, 
where under his guidance and control they may mutu- 
ally subserve each other's improvement and welfare. 
Just so far as all this is acknowledged, word-wise and 
deed- wise, in the sphere ecclesiastical, just so far have 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



421 



its symbols and arrangements and designs a meaning 
for those whom I am attempting to describe. And 
wherever and however this may be ignored or des- 
pised, they promptly, resolutely, perhaps sternly and 
indignantly, refuse to confide in, to cooperate with the 
professed disciples of the Saviour. 

Nothing short of good men can with them constitute 
the Church ; men loj^al and humane. And wherever 
these may manifest themselves, and in whatever num- 
ber equal to "two or three," there is for them "the 
royal priesthood," with which they are ready to iden- 
tify themselves. 

How clear and certain must be the light which they 
are permitted to enjoy ! Their nature and origin — 
their relations, vocation and prospects are revealed to 
their thoughts. The objects which they may property 
pursue, lie definitely and fully before them in all their 
worth and dignity. That these are adapted to their 
highest necessities, and are fully within the compass 
of their powers, they clearly perceive. Thus they are 
enabled to adjust their aims and mature their plans 
without embarrassment or apprehension. They are 
encouraged in their efforts by lofty hopes and inspiring 
expectations. 

The methods, moreover, through which they may 
achieve success, are authoritatively prescribed for their 
benefit. The means with them are always in full har 
mony with the end they may be intent upon. They 
are well aware, that 11 good can be built up on good 
alone ;" and act accordingly. They promptly and 
steadfastly refuse to employ falsehood in illustrating 
and commending Truth ; to invade rights in promot- 
ing the ends of Justice ; to cement any union whatever 



422 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



with, the tears and blood of helpless innocence. The 
thought of " doing evil that good may come," they 
hold in deep abhorrence. Their methods, prescribed 
by sovereign Keason, involve success — are a pledge 
and a foretaste of the enduring good, to which their 
aims and their exertions are directed. 

In their exertions, therefore, they are in harmony 
with the Laws of their existence. Their active energies 
they are able to bring into healthful requisition. Their 
highest activity proceeds from the deepest repose ; and 
their deepest repose crowns the highest activity. Their 
very efforts are invigorating, refreshing and inspiring. 
The more they do, the more they enjoy. Their labors 
rise to the dignity of Work, and are their own " ex- 
ceeding great reward." — The Principles to which they 
maintain their allegiance, bring them into harmony 
with the arrangements and forces of Nature. Of these 
they earnestly and gratefully avail themselves. They 
thus find multiplied, powerful and faithful auxiliaries. 
They are borne onward by sovereign tendencies. They 
hold communion with the paternal Soul. His smiles 
they win. They cannot be baffled or defeated. 1 1 Heaven 
and Earth may pass away ; w but nothing can reduce 
their powers or prevent their triumph. 

Such is the description I would offer of the two 
classes I have ventured to introduce. In their charac- 
teristic aims, methods and activity, respectively, they 
stand over against each other in pointed opposition. 
On the inclined plane where the sovereign Will has 
placed them, the one is continually ascending, while 
the descent of the other is frightfully rapid. The dis- 
tance which separates the one from the other, every 
moment widens. And yet they have inherited the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



423 



same nature, the one class and the other ; sustain the 
same relations, wield the same powers, and are bound 
to the Eternal Throne by the same obligations. Why 
should not those who are controlled by Appearances, 
break away from the thraldom by which they are em- 
barrassed and degraded ? Why should they not open 
their eyes on the meaning of the problems which every 
day and every where demand their attention ? Why 
should they not take possession of the priceless bless- 
ings which lie within their reach and are urged on 
their acceptance ? Oh ! why ? 



THE LIGHT OF LOYALTY. 



" If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether 
it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." — John 7 : 17. 

The Jews professed to regard the Divine Authority 
with the deepest reverence. It occupied their thoughts 
— so they were ready to affirm — it engrossed their 
affections. In their aims, methods and exertions they 
put themselves under its guidance and control. In 
the judgments they formed and the conclusions they 
held, they accepted and applied it as a standard alto- 
gether intelligible and reliable. This was a grave, 
comprehensive and far-reaching profession. If sincere 
and consistent, it could not fail to raise them to a high 
position on elevated ground. They could hardly be 
long embarrassed with any problem which lay among 
their duties and relations. Light from the eternal 
throne must have enabled them to discern their path 
clearly and certainly amidst their natural responsi- 
bilities. 

Among this people arose the great Nazarene. In 
the objects he pursued, in the doctrines he taught, in 
the deeds he performed, he professedly leaned on the 
Divine Authority. He openly, earnestly, solemnly de- 
clared, that he derived from it the commission under 
w r hich he acted. Standing on the ground which it 
afforded, he proclaimed himself the Messiah, and 
claimed to be treated accordingly. This claim the 
Jews resisted. They refused to submit to his sceptre. 
They tried their utmost to puzzle, to baffle, to embar- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



425 



rass liim. They contradicted, derided, persecuted him. 
They were eager to persuade themselves and others, 
that he was an impostor. Thus they stood over against 
him in pointed opposition. They met his affirmations 
with a flat denial. — The question at issue between him 
and them was most significant, comprehensive and far- 
reaching. It touched every thing vital in the whole 
compass of their humanity. How could it be intelli- 
gently and safely disposed of? 

At this point, Jesus of Nazareth proposed a test fully 
within their reach, and of easy and certain application, 
by which his claims might be fairly and forever settled. 
The doing OF the Divine Will must shed a clear 
and piercing light on this great problem. To a trial, 
thus conducted, he was most ready to submit. To 
this no candid and earnest inquirer could object. By 
the natural result, Jesus was forward fully to abide. 
In this, every one might clearly see and certainly 
know whether the mission of Jesus originated in God 
or in himself. 

Whatever in Jesus was incidental and peculiar — 
whatever belonged to him alone in distinction from 
whatever he possessed in common with mankind at 
large, would be fitly assigned to a place in the Condi- 
tional, the Limited, the Temporary. If to what may 
be thus described his mission was adjusted — if to such 
a basis the doctrines he inculcated, were adapted — if 
in his designs and methods and claims he rose to no 
higher ground, how could he enjoy himself or impart 
to others the substantial and imperishable benefits of 
which our nature is capable, and to which it should 
aspire ? He could possess nothing, enjoy nothing, of- 
fer nothing better than the source to which he re- 



426 



S8BHGNS AND DISCOURSES. 



paired and whence lie drew liis supplies. This he calls 
"himself." To prefer this to God must be selfishness. 
It must be to prefer the Conditional to the Absolute — 
the Limited to the Infinite — the Temporary to the 
Eternal. This is the essential character — the distinct- 
ive mark of selfishness universally, in all its types and 
aspects. And this must be to treat the objects and re- 
lations with which we are conversant, not as they are 
in themselves and their claims, but as thev are not — 
that is, unnaturally, falsely, unjustly. It must be to 
introduce falsehood, disorder, injustice into ourselves, 
and through ourselves into the sphere of activity, where 
our energies may find employment. And whatever 
we may here attempt will bear our image — will be 
impressed with our characteristics. All this I under- 
stand Jesus to apply to himself on the supposition that 
"he spoke of himself, " was under the domination of 
selfishness. His influence as a Teacher would in that 
case be directly and powerfully promotive of falsehood, 
disorder and injustice. 

But in God we recognize the Absolute, the Uni- 
versal, the Eternal. The elements of his nature, the 
attributes of his character, the principles of his gov- 
ernment are thus characterized. Whatever originates 
in him must bear his image — must be adapted to our 
higher nature, on which he has impressed his likeness. 
If from him Jesus derived his commission, he could 
not but enjoy in himself, he could not but impart to 
others benefits alike substantial and imperishable. His 
thoughts would be occupied, his affections engrossed 
with the divine perfections. To these, as a basis, he 
would adjust- himself in his aims, methods and exer- 
tions. These would shine through his history. Truth, 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



427 



order, justice, lie would impress on those who might 
yield to his influence. Wherever his presence might 
be welcomed, the authority of God would be recognized 
and reverenced. 

We may here well advert to the mutual relations of 
Reason and the Active Faculty, of Principles and 
Practice, of Science and Art, of Speculation and Ex- 
ertion. — Reason, Principle, Science, inhere in the Di- 
vine Nature. They belong to God. Wherever and how- 
ever manifested, they reveal his presence and his ma- 
jesty. The light which they shed upon our conscious- 
ness, flows from his throne. It emanates from him as 
its source and fountain. As his creatures — the pro- 
duct of his wisdom — we appropriate the light thus af- 
forded ; as with organs, adapted to that end, we avail 
ourselves of sun-beams. 

The Active Faculty, which involves Practice, Art, 
Exertion, belongs to us. It enters vitally into human 
personality. Its exercises are under our control. For 
them we are responsible. They are the stuff of which 
our characters are constructed. They are the threads 
of which the web of human history is composed. — The 
relation of the Active Faculty to the Reason is most 
intimate. Reason furnishes the Principles to which 
the Active Faculty naturally adjusts itself. When it 
lays hold on these, and exerts itself according to their 
demands — when it makes them the basis, the standard, 
the goal of its activity — when it thus bows to their 
authority and reverently owns their sovereignty, it 
brings them home to the depths of our consciousness. 
Then do they fasten on our heart-strings and mingle 
with our life-blood. Then are they identified with our 
personality. They live in their benignity, strength 



428 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and beauty, in the inmost recesses of our being — of 
each of us, in the depths of his I myself. Thus they 
live in us, and we live by them. They become the 
life of our life — the strength of our strength — the source 
and inspiration of our joys. — Now, according to the 
Saviour we are qualified to estimate the claims which 
he urges on our love, confidence and veneration. "If 
any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine 
whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.' 7 

But how is this ? The bearing of obedience to the 
Divine requisitions on the recognition of the claims of 
Jesus as the Messiah, that is the subject to which our 
thoughts are now to be directed. 

1. It is thus, that self-possession — the natural use of our 
powers, is to he acquired. — Man, in distinction from all 
other forms of animal existence, is fitly endowed with 
reason. The light which it diffuses, he can ap- 
propriate; the principles which it enjoins, he can 
comprehend ; the laws which it promulgates, he 
can obey. The power implied and exercised in this is 
the characteristic element of the nature he has inhe- 
rited. It is distinctively the soul and substance of his 
humanity. — But the laws and principles of the Reason 
originated in the Eternal Throne. They are an ex- 
pression of the Divine will. They are a revelation of 
the Creator. What they require and forbid, he re- 
quires and forbids — always, and without exception. 
Thus, as reasonable creatures, we are fashioned in his 
image. And this, whether we are aware of it or not, 
we affirm whenever we so describe mankind. — The 
principles of the Divine government then ; the laws of 
the Eternal Kingdom are altogether vital to our exist- 
ence. They enter essentially into the nature by which 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



429 



we are distinguished. In them we are to seek and 
find the self of ourselves — the heart of our personality. 
How then are we to acquire self-possession — to become 
ourselves ? Clearly by obeying the laws of our exist- 
ence, which are the laws of the Eternal Throne. By 
adjusting ourselves in the use of our powers and re- 
sources to the principles on which our nature was con- 
structed — our humanity, the human in us, is exercised, 
developed and matured. We thus a come to ourselves." 
"We thus get the control of our powers and faculties. 
Every element of our being is thus brought into fit 
exercise, and with proper results. 

Till then, till our powers are exercised and developed, 
each according to its nature and relations, till we acquire 
self-possession, how can we hope to solve any of the 
problems which are involved in our existence and af- 
fect our responsibilities and prospects ? We must 
be ourselves properly before we can exert ourselves 
happily. How can the spiritual within us wield its ener- 
gies naturally and effectively, while the animal is in the 
ascendency ? Passion is blind and headlong. If we spurn 
the light of Reason; if we resist its restraints and reject 
its control, submitting to the usurpation of eager appe- 
tite and wild impulse, how shall we be able to perceive 
and distinguish and discriminate — to adjust and weigh 
and estimate among the objects which address them- 
selves to the higher elements of our nature in the 
proper sphere of Humanity ? Disorder and confusion 
always prevail wherever and however the Higher is 
subjected to the Lower, wherever and however passion 
may take the precedence of reason. And blindness 
and imbecility are involved in confusion. What can we 
see with our eyes closed against the light ? what can 



430 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



we do with our hands crippled and fettered by passion ? 
Thus embarrassed, we are utterly disqualified for any 
of those tasks and attempts which our improvement 
and welfare imperiously demand. The votaries of 
avarice, ambition and sensuality amidst the clearest 
light and the most shining occasions — amidst relations 
the most significant, duties the most grave and urgent, 
and the highest advantages, always appear eyeless and 
impotent. They are whirled around like a feather in an 
eddy. " Having eyes, they see not ; having ears, they 
cannot hear; neither do they understand." Problems 
of the highest import, they dismiss with a vacant stare. 
From all that is benignant in goodness, attractive in 
beauty and venerable in wisdom, they turn away to 
chase shadows and embrace phantoms. Can they be 
expected fairly to weigh and justly to estimate the 
claims of Jesus, as the Head of the Human Family? 

But self-possession acquired, we are prepared for 
any tasks which may lie within the compass of our 
Humanity. The light of Eeason we now appropri- 
ate. The Higher and the Lower are each in its pro- 
per place and ready for its natural office. Every power 
under its own name, and with its own inherent force, 
may be relied on for its appropriate influence. Eeason 
guides, Passion impels, the Active Faculty executes. 
Now are we prepared to estimate the claims of any 
name, of any object in the entire sphere of our relations. 
Well might the Saviour declare, that "if any man will 
do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it 
be of God or whether I speak of myself." 

2. It is thus that ive are raised to our true position — a 
position at which the clearest and strongest light will 
shine around us — at which every object in the field of 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



431 



our relations will present itself to our regard under its 
own natural aspects and bearings. — The dominance of 
Passion throws its subject upon a false position. He 
is degraded. He sinks below the "beasts that perish." 
He wallows in the mire. He lies in wickedness. The 
field of his observation is narrow, dark, confused. The 
objects to which he is most intimately and significantly 
related, are beyond its limits. They of course escape 
his notice. And those which he sees, he sees under 
false aspects — distorted and awry. — Whatever may 
not promise to minister to sensual gratification, he 
ignores or despises. Whatever may offer to curb his 
appetites, to restrain his passions — to reduce him to 
sobriety and self-denial, he avoids or resists. What- 
ever lies as an obstruction between him and the baits 
which please his tastes and provoke his inclinations, 
he attacks with " tooth and nail," with might and 
main, ferociously and relentlessly. At the same time 
he hugely magnifies whatever may be adapted to 
pamper the flesh and gratify his lusts. All such 
things he will study and pursue by night and by day, 
eagerly, obstinately, recklessly. In his eyes and at his 
position, they will acquire a magnitude equal to the 
field of his vision and the extent and compass of his 
wishes. They will engross his thoughts, affections and 
active energies. What to Mm are Ideas, Laws, Prin- 
ciples ? Say what you will about their worth, power 
and dignity. Illustrate as you please their vital bear- 
ings on all things, vast or minute, near or remote, visi- 
ble and invisible. Demonstrate with never so much 
clearness and certainty, that in them he " lives and 
moves and has his being" — that they are vital to his 
existence and essential to his welfare. The whole 



432 



SEKUOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



matter lie dismisses with a yawn, as dull, tedious, im- 
pertinent. What has he to do with abstractions, how- 
ever imposing and authoritative — with things which 
lie beyond the reach of his senses and the demands of 
his appetites — things which he cannot see nor hear nor 
handle ? Ideas, Principles, Laws, whoever saw them 
in the market or on the exchange ? Give him beef, 
beauty and preferment, and you may do what you 
please with your Kingdom of Heaven ! What, at 
such a position, can he do with the problems of the 
Gospel? what with the character and claims of the 
great Nazarene ? 

But obedience to the Divine Will, to the Laws of 
our existence, raises its subject to a true position. 
They are the soul, the strength, the glory of the Uni- 
verse. They pervade and vitalize and control whatever 
lives, acts and enjoys. They are regally present with the 
strongest and the weakest — the highest and the lowest — 
the meanest and the most magnificent. They bring all 
things which yield to their sway, into the fullest, deep- 
est harmony. Whoever adjusts himself to their de- 
mands, opens his bosom to their influence. They 
reach the heart of his heart — penetrate and pervade 
the core of his personality. They yield him their pre- 
sence — he yields them his powers. They make their 
abode with him — he identifies himself with them. He 
draws them down to the depths of his being — they 
draw him up to the heights of their nature. Thus 
they impress themselves, characteristically, upon every 
thing human in him — thus he avails himself of their 
presence and power. 

Whoever bows to the authority of Eeason, the pre- 
sence of God in the depths of our nature — appropriates 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



433 



the light, so clear and certain, which it liberally dif- 
fuses. The objects to which he is related, arrange 
themselves among his thoughts, naturally, each in its 
proper place and with its proper relations. He is reason- 
able ; and as such, estimates whatever may touch his 
responsibilities and affect his welfare. He occupies 
elevated ground. The field of his vision is clear and 
sunny. Whatever lies there is revealed to his open 
eyes, definitely and intelligibly. — Where Truth, where 
Order, where the everlasting Proprieties prevail — and 
these are aspects of the Eeason — are essentially charac- 
teristic of God — there thought, study, discrimination 
are easy and trustworthy. There any thing may be 
readily estimated according to its worth, essentially 
and relatively. This conclusion is insisted on in the 
New Testament, often, boldly and impressively. As 
a striking specimen, take the strong declaration of the 
Saviour : " I am the light of the world ; he that fol- 
loweth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have 
the light of life." The principles of the Divine Gov- 
ernment are royally incarnate in Jesus ; whoever may 
bow to his authority, and thus welcome these prin- 
ciples to his inmost spirit, shall appropriate for himself 
and the objects around him, a living light. Well 
might the Saviour authorize the test, to which in the 
text he invites our confidence. 

3. It is thus that we are able to carry with us every 
where a standard, by which we may fairly dispose of 
the claims which our Fellows may urge on our confi- 
dence. — The confidence with which any man may re- 
gard his fellows, he measures by a standard which his 
own character furnishes. He may be the slave of his 
passions. To avarice, sensuality or ambition, he may 
19 



434 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



prostitute himself. From some such quarter may pro- 
ceed the impulses by which he may be swayed and 
driven. In thought, affection and pursuit, he submits 
to the exorbitant demands of the pampered, bloated 
animal which he calls himself. This under every 
aspect and bearing is with him "all in all." — jSTow it 
is easy to see, whether we consult the nature of things 
or the facts of history, by what standard he will esti- 
mate the claims on his confidence of those by whom 
he may be surrounded. If in their purposes, plans 
and pursuits, they promise him sympathy and assist- 
ance in his designs, he will give them his confidence. 
As candidates for office, they may expect his coun- 
tenance and support. He will be busy and loud in 
urging their names on the confidence of others. He 
will defend their reputation when held up, never so 
justly, to general suspicion or abhorrence. The ab- 
surdities they may practise, and the crimes they may 
commit, he will extenuate or excuse or deny. He 
will gnash his teeth on any who describe them ac- 
cording to their character, and treat them according 
to their deserts. If they seize on offices to which 
they are not competent, and assume responsibilities 
which they cannot honor, he tortures the air with 
eager acclamations. He goes with them at all lengths, 
unscrupulously. His confidence, such as it is, he gives 
them without hesitation or inquiry. — From loyal Souls 
— from all true, strong and great Names, he turns away 
with bitter aversion. He cannot endure their pre- 
sence. He misrepresents, maligns and persecutes them. 
He tries to blast their reputation and blacken their his- 
tory. He deals falsely with their objects, methods and 
motives. He sticks at nothing which may be adapted 
to prevent their rising to such positions as they may 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



435 



be fitted to fill with honor to themselves and advantage 
to others. 

What are the conclusions to which facts conduct us. 
— The wisdom and power of the great Nazarene none 
could denjr, who had looked into his face and heard 
his voice and witnessed his achievements. He was 
every way qualified to guide and protect. He was 
wholly and grandly a king. Royalty shone through 
every passage of his history. He offered himself to 
the confidence and veneration of those for whose be- 
nefit he had accepted of his mission. On grounds the 
most clear and substantial, he claimed their love, their 
confidence, their homage. What he counselled them 
to be and to do, he was himself in the largest measure 
— the highest degree. It was most obvious and cer- 
tain, that in submitting to his control, they would at 
the same time discharge their duty and promote their 
welfare. — Yet they closed their ears to his voice, and 
turned away from his presence, contemptuously or 
spitefully. The benefits he urged on their acceptance, 
they trampled beneath their feet. So far from sub- 
mitting to his authority, they spurned him as an im 
postor. They never paused in their career of absurdity 
and wickedness, till they had nailed him to the cross. 
— What was the matter ? " What evil had he done ?" 
His integrity and fidelity furnished the only occasion 
for the hatred they cherished, and the injuries they 
inflicted. " Every one that doeth evil hateth the light 
— will not come to the light lest his deeds should be re- 
proved." The selfish creatures who stood around our 
Saviour, saw plainly enough, that they could extract 
nothing from him flattering to their passions, or pro- 
motive of their designs. Between his character and 



436 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



theirs, there was nothing of coincidence or harmony. 
His triumph must involve their defeat. How could 
they give him their confidence ? How respond to his 
demands ? How avail themselves of the influences his 
mission was adapted to exert ? They made it manifest 
by tongue and hand, eagerly, stoutly, recklessly, that 
" they would not have this Man to reign over them 
that they preferred a robber to the Saviour ! His 
claims on their confidence and cooperation they es- 
timated by a standard which their own character 
supplied. 

In the mean time they identified themselves with 
the unprincipled, the selfish, the profligate. With 
great deference they looked up to the wretches who, 
while they u devoured widows' houses, and for a pre- 
tence made long prayers," officiously obtruded them- 
selves upon their fellows as counsellors and protectors. 
The more manifest and gross their blindness, the more 
readily and fully did the multitude yield to their ar- 
rogance. "The blind, led by the blind," rushed with 
one accord into the same fatal " ditch." " The world 
loves its own" — all " who are of the world." 

Thus it ever was — thus must ever be. At the ballot- 
box men vote for themselves, enlarged and intensified 
in the candidates they prefer. To the claims of wise, 
strong and good men, the majority never respond. 
Never ! There is nothing they more fear and dread 
than the character by which any such may be distin- 
guished. You wish me justice, exclaimed the accused 
on the eve of his trial ; that of all things I am chiefly 
afraid of. The majority are well aware, that if Truth 
and Justice prevail, they can never succeed in their 
designs. Their hungry appetites and fiery passions, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



437 



instead of being ministered unto, will be counteracted 
and repressed. 

But the majority are busy and stout enough, in so 
wielding the elective franchise as to prevent the as- 
cendency of Truth and Justice in the national coun- 
sels and designs. They are sure to set those "on high," 
in whose tastes and tempers and habits they find a 
pledge, that each of them will countenance and encou- 
rage the absurdities they may plunge into, and the 
crimes they may commit. The candidate and the 
voter are essentially alike — differing only, if at all, in 
the degree in which they cherish and betray the qua- 
lities which are characteristic of the one and the other. 
The majority fill every department of the government 
with names which the standard, involved in their own 
character, commends. They never repose their confi- 
dence in, they never commit their interests to, leaders 
essentially other than themselves. The character of 
the nation is reflected in its government. 

The Loyal, in their sympathies and confidence and 
cooperation confine themselves to the Loyal. In the 
light of their own character, they clearly perceive from 
whom they may well expect guidance, encouragement 
and protection. From such, however regarded by the 
multitude, they cannot withhold their suffrages. And 
in recognizing and honoring their claims, they recog- 
nize and honor the claims of their common Master. In 
bidding them, they bid him, occupy for their benefit 
the position of Eulers. In the pure and strong light, 
which their own integrity diffuses, they behold his 
perfections and bow to his authority. There is at 
every point something in them characteristically, which 
responds to the same in him characteristically ; recog- 



488 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



nizing, explaining and commending the ground on 
which his Messiahship reposes. Thus with warm con- 
fidence and strong emphasis, we may, under various 
aspects and different bearings, repeat the words of the 
Saviour : 11 If any man will do his will, he shall know 
of the doctrine whether it be of God or whether I 
speak of myself." 

In review of the ground occupied in this discourse, 
we may perceive, 1. How thoughtful, earnest inquirers 
may amidst warring theories, clashing opinions and con- 
flicting aims and exertions, be brought into harmony and 
unity with each other. — No provision, it may be alleged, 
has been made in the divine arrangements for any such 
consummation. It cannot be expected, we are confi- 
dently assured, that in any community any consider- 
able number of its members will be united in their 
aims and methods and exertions. Among men every 
where, there is a wide diversity in their constitutional 
endowments, their means of information and opportu- 
nities for culture, and in the influences which stream 
in upon them from a thousand sources. The most we 
can expect is, that in their mutual relations to, and in- 
tercourse with each other, they will agree to differ. If 
they can be persuaded to treat each other's prejudices, 
mistakes, absurdities with patience, indulgence and 
candor — to give to each other credit for sincerity and 
good intentions, they proceed as far towards unity as 
can reasonably be demanded. Hence materials the most 
heterogeneous and mutually hostile, are under one 
name or another thrown thoughtlessly together ; as if 
nothing better in the way of union need be attempted, 
or could be effected. And this, throughout the whole 
compass of what bears the name of society. This, it is 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



439 



alleged, is submitted to under the pressure of stern ne- 
cessity. Thus our fathers talked in their lame attempts 
to justify themselves for throwing all sorts of mutually 
repellent things into one heap, and baptizing it with 
the name of the United States. They did, we are 
assured, the best they could under the exigencies, 
which pressed so heavily upon them. 

In all this there lurks something quite other than 
earnestness and honesty ; something not at all entitled 
to respect or even to indulgence. — The Divine Will is 
the soul and substance of all unity. It is revealed to 
the consciousness of every thoughtful, earnest, candid 
child of Adam. It addresses him intelligibly and 
authoritatively. It requires him to bow to the sove- 
reignty of Truth, Order, Justice. All who obey, are 
brought into union with the soul of harmony. Thus 
they are most intimately united to each other. Thus 
they cannot but see eye to eye, and walk hand id 
hand. The Principles of the Divine Government bind 
them to each other intimatety, indissolubly and ever- 
lastingly. And this in every relation of life, and in 
every sphere of responsibility. 

On no other basis can a union among men be formed . 
and maintained. Every departure from these Prin- 
ciples, must occasion jars, dissensions, conflicts. In- 
justice and falsehood, however perpetrated and wher- 
ever admitted, inevitably rend and divide, throwing 
every thing they reach into confusion. Can liars be at 
one with each other ? Can those who trample on rec- 
titude and violate justice, trust each other, and cherish 
towards each other a dear and compact friendship ? 
Can those, be they individuals or be they communities, 
find repose in each other's bosoms ? They may rush 



440 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



together, herd together, push and pull each other on 
to absurdity and crime ; but they know full well, each 
of them, how malignant, false and worthless his fellows 
are ; how ready they must be, whenever it may seem 
requisite or convenient, to sacrifice him to their pre- 
judices and passions. You might as easily draw har- 
mony from Hell, as to establish a union on any such 
foundation. 

The falsehood and injustice which are wrought into 
the political fabric, which we call our country, are 
bringing forth their fruits in rank abundance. Our 
countrymen regard the Divine Authority with a stolid 
contempt. The Principles on which the Eternal Throne 
reposes, they dismiss with a pitiful sneer, as empty 
abstractions. They set God and Nature at defiance, 
while they trample, swine-like, on every thing sacred 
in our common Humanity. They try to prop up what 
they call the Union, with lies and wrongs, insults and 
injuries, directed to and heaped upon wretched and 
helpless innocence. But " the Union," they brag and 
swagger about, is found to be a most empty and worth- 
less thing. It totters and reels and plunges. It can- 
not endure. It sets itself against God and Nature. It 
must change its character speedily and radically, or 
sink to its own place among the rubbish to which it 
belongs. Churches, States, Trade-unions, which ad- 
just themselves to the basis on which the Eepublic is 
founded, must go to ruin with it. There need be no 
mistake. It may assay to defend itself by jesuitical 
cunning and ruffianly violence. It may continue for a 
time to rely on such auxiliaries. Foolish enough ! 
These are its deadliest enemies, undermining with ma- 
lignant diligence its foundations — busy, night and day, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



441 



in compassing its overthrow. And they must succeed, 
inevitably and dreadfully, unless we can be induced to 
spurn, banish, crush them. 

If in church and state men would devote themselves 
to what they know to be the True, the Eight and the 
Good, they would be true, right and good in their mu- 
tual relations and common intercourse. They would 
respect and cherish the True, the Eight and the Good 
in each other's nature and history. Every right of 
every creature would be altogether sacred in their 
thoughts, schemes and exertions. Each would love 
his neighbor as he loved himself. How could they be 
otherwise than united? Their hearts would beat in 
unison. In all their mutual intercourse, the deepest, 
sweetest harmony would prevail. How intelligible, 
substantial and practicable such a ground of unison 
must be ! 

2. We must LOOK IN upon ourselves, and NOT ABROAD 
among- our Fellows, whoever they may be, for the 
authority by ivhich we are to be controlled in the spheres 
of thought, resolution and endeavor. — We are liable at 
any step in our progress through life to meet with 
questions which may touch us vitally — may deeply 
affect our relations and prospects. We may be quite 
unable to ignore or neglect them. They may be to be 
studied and decided somehow or other and without 
delay. And from the consequences which may follow, 
we may be utterly unable to escape ; whatever may be 
their bearing on our welfare. Such is the condition of 
every child of Adam. 

What, then, shall we do ? On whose judgment 
may we lean ? Some of our Fellows may here set up 
lofty pretensions. They may offer themselves to all 
19* 



442 



SERMONS AXD DISCOUESES. 



" whom it may concern" as divinely inspired. They 
may claim to be infallible in the decisions they may 
make and the judgments they may pronounce. They 
may be Popes. They may be active in — identified 
with some imposing council. They may occupy the 
place of Judges in some Supreme Court. No matter 
what name they bear — what place they hold. W«8 
have each of us his own individual existence and rela- 
tions. These they cannot dissolve — cannot absorb. 
They cannot think our thoughts — cannot perform our 
actions. They cannot throw themselves between us 
and our responsibilities. They cannot shield us from 
guilt or shelter us from punishment. The springs of 
life in us cannot be transferred to them. They are 
they and we are v:e, individually, respectively and for- 
ever. It is the extreme of absurdity and arrogance in 
them to pretend and attempt to decide for us the ques- 
tions, whatever they may be, which vitally affect our 
condition and prospects. It is the extreme of absurdity 
and servility in us to pretend to yield to their decisions. 
Woe alike to the leaders and the followers ! "If the 
blind lead the blind, shall not they both fall into the 
ditch T 

From the will of God, absolutely and solely, we cle-' 
rived our existence and relations. He is the source of 
all the powers, prerogatives and privileges in which we 
may rejoice. His will is the basis of our being. It is 
revealed to us in the Principles which address them- 
selves to our consciousness. These, inherent in our na- 
ture, when once wrought into our habits and history, become 
in ns the foundation of THE PRIVATE JUDGMENTS on 
which ice may safely rely in disposing of the gravest 
'problems. In the light thus appropriated we may well 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



U3 



decide, each man in and for himself, the most weighty, 
complicated and far-reaching questions which may 
affect our duties and our destiny. Obedience to Hea- 
ven — the doing of the will of God is the all-essential 
preparation for any such attempt — and this universally 
and particularly — in all cases and on all occasions — 
here and elsewhere — now and forever. The young 
and the old — the unlettered and the learned — the ruler 
and the subject may, with all propriety and with entire 
safety in this way exercise and maintain the right of 
private judgment. May, did I say ? They must in 
this way exercise and maintain this right — must do so 
at whatever expense or hazard, if they would not con- 
tract guilt and incur damnation ! 

And what, after all, is the judgment of Pope, Judge 
or Counsellor but a private judgment f In disposing 
of the problems which affect human welfare, are they 
favored with methods peculiar to themselves, through 
which they are sure to reach the right conclusion ? 
Are they exclusively entitled and admitted to the light 
of Heaven ? On what grounds are we bound to assent 
to the decisions they pronounce ? Are they remark- 
able for integrity, wisdom and magnanimity ? Are 
they devoted to Truth and Justice ? Are they quick 
to respond to the claims — to any claim of our common 
Humanity ? Amidst human relations, responsibilities 
and exposures, are they eminently, beautifully human? 
Are they habitually occupied as the end of their ex- 
istence and the goal of their exertions with doing the 
will of God ? And thus do they comply with the 
condition on which, amidst our duties and trials, we 
may know what may be to be affirmed and what 
denied ? 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



History utters a voice on this subject to which we 
may well listen. Those who set up the loftiest claims 
to our respect and confidence are often, according to 
its testimony, least entitled to the one or the other. 
They are often singularly weak and recklessly wicked. 
"They neither fear God nor regard man." Truth, 
Order, Justice — even Decency they blindly ignore or 
rashly contemn. They submit to the tyranny of Pas- 
sion without scruple or resistance. Such are the 
wretches who, denying the right of private judgment, 
set themselves up as the oracles of Heaven ! In their 
presence they require us to suspend our own judg 
ments ! TThat they may please to offer, we are with 
all deference to receive — and without hesitation, inquiry 
or reserve ! The absurdities they utter we are to rev 
crence as the accents of wisdom ; the lies they tell, we 
are to regard as healthful truths ; the malignant, cruel 
decisions they may pronounce, we are meekly to sub- 
mit to as the utterance of yearning, comprehensive 
love ! In the crucible of the Pope darkness becomes 
light ; wrong, right ; the monstrous becomes natural 
and attractive ! Falsehood, whoredom, murder at his 
touch are transformed into heroic deeds, which God 
cannot foil largely to reward ! In his name the Pope 
may encourage his followers to "roll mother and infant 
down the rocks' 7 — to flood the streets of Paris with the 
blood of innocence ! A Judge of the Supreme Court 
may pronounce personality mere property ; and author- 
ize us to treat our own mother's helpless children as if 
they were the offspring of swine — " goods and chattels 
to all intents and purposes whatsoever" ! The judi- 
cial lies, which with solemn impudence he may pro- 
nounce, must not be freely examined and boldly con- 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



445 



tradicted ! We may know them to be barefaced, 
glaring, suffocating falsehoods ; but as they proceeded 
from the bloodless lips of some Judge Taney, we must 
adjust ourselves to their revolting demands as if they 
were worthy of our complacency and confidence ! 
Thus are we required to attempt the impracticable — to 
perpetrate the impossible ! 

Suppose we do our best to take the attitude we are 
thus required to assume — what then ? Can we, how- 
ever desperately we may struggle to escape, help form- 
ing, in some sort, a private judgment ? "What do we, 
when we pronounce the Pope, some Council, this or 
that Judge an infallible authority ? What do we, 
when we condemn all attempts of the untitled and ob- 
scure to inquire and reflect — to draw inferences and 
fasten on conclusions, each in the exercise of his own 
powers, and to provide for his own welfare ? What 
do we, when we require our Fellows to reverence the 
decrees of papal Eome or subscribe to a decision of a 
servile and profligate tribunal ? What right have you, 
my Brother, to bring thought and speech into requisi- 
tion on any such subject which does not belong equally 
to all the sons of Adam ? If you may occupy your- 
self with such problems, so may I and all our neighbors. 
And however you or I may dispose of such inquiries, 
whether for or against the infallibility of Pope or 
Judge, are we not in the very act of seizing on an 
affirmative or a negative, exercising our own powers, 
and forming a private judgment ? May some poor 
supple creature affirm that when the Pope bellows or 
Judge Taney mumbles, he himself is bound to suspend 
his judgment ; and may not his earnest neighbor at his 
elbow declare, in asserting his rights, that the decision 



446 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



of the one and the bull of the other he shall treat ac 
cording to their intrinsic merits and natural bearings 
respectively ? How can he escape the open jaws of a 
crushing contradiction — of a throttling inconsistency 
who, in assailing the exercise of a private judgment, him- 
self wields a private judgment I Who sets his tongue in 
motion to prove that he and his Fellows are bound to 
hold their tongues ! 

And why should not our Fellows generally be en- 
couraged both to exercise and confide in a private 
judgment ? "What, I pray you, is requisite to its 
healthful exercise ? Genius, talents, learning — meta- 
physical acumen — philosophical adroitness and power ? 
Or must a lofty station be provided, or some source of 
celestial inspiration be opened ? Splendor of genius, 
affluence of attainment, keenness of perception, com- 
prehensiveness of vision — reputation, office, influence — 
all these, however modified and combined, are no 
security against error in judgment rank and fatal. 
They furnish for no one any basis on which he is en- 
titled to wield authority over his less favored Fellows. 
If he make any such attempt, they may well look him 
in the face and demand his credentials before yielding 
to his demands. Amidst the grand relations and grave 
responsibilities of life, they are as fully entitled as he 
to the exercise and benefits of a private judgment. 
They may be very common People — laying small 
claim to strength, culture, subtlety. They may, how- 
ever, bow to the authority of Principle — may be obe- 
dient to Law — may be true to their own convictions. 
They may be distinguished for earnestness, consistency 
and fidelity. They may be honest, disinterested, loyal. 
They may "do the will of God." They may be thus 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



447 



qualified, as they have become themselves, to think 
and act for themselves — and this, wherever and when- 
ever thought and action may be requisite for their 
highest improvement and best welfare. They occupy 
the only ground on which a private judgment can be 
fitly formed and happily maintained. All who are 
capable of obedience to God are capable of the health- 
ful exercise of a private judgment. All who render 
obedience to God, wield this great prerogative with 
propriety, dignity and thrice happy effect. And they 
only. Selfishness, misanthropy, impiety evermore and 
every where produce thick darkness. Under their 
control, no man, whatever may be his gifts, station, 
profession, can be otherwise, amidst his relations and 
responsibilities, than blind and imbecile. His trains 
of thought and his modes of action will be awry. Give 
me loyalty in a counsellor and auxiliary, however plain 
and unpretending may be the figure in which it may 
be embodied — through which it may manifest itself. 
Obedience to God naturally presides over the entire 
sphere of human relations, human exertions, human 
destiny. 

3. On the ground occupied in this discourse, we may 
perceive how, by a constant and certain progression, ice 
may rise to the true goal of our existence. — Doubtless 
summary methods — shortened paths may be com- 
mended to our confidence. In these, our prejudices 
our passions, our convenience may be consulted. We 
may be encouraged to rely on some mysterious process 
in which the animal of our nature shall be addressed, 
excited, variously affected. Eeligious shows — conse- 
crated pomps may be exhibited. Some ceremony, 
earlier or later, may have been employed to introduce 



448 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSE-. 



us into the heavenly kingdom. Certain feelings and 
emotions may be strenuously and solemnly insisted on. 
But in all this we have what our Saviour describes 
and condemns as " a climbing up in some other way" — 
a way strongly marked by the swinish foot-prints of 
the fraudulent and violent. Here, our Saviour assures 
us, "the thief and the robber" practise their arts and 
perpetrate and glory in all sorts of mischief. Let us 
beware ! 

The road to the true goal lies clearly and directly 
before us. The principles on which our nature was 
constructed, assert their authority in the depths of our 
being. They awaken within us a sense of obligation. 
This is the most significant fact in human history. 
These principles we may well study with fixed atten- 
tion — with a reverent recognition. In the light which 
they diffuse, our various duties are clearly and defi- 
nitely revealed. The obligation, which at any moment 
in our history may first claim our regard, we are at 
once to yield to, resolutely and cordially. Thus we 
may take the first step in the heavenly pathway. In 
the same spirit and by the same methods we are to 
urge our way onward and upward. In the performance 
of every new duty, we take another step up the milky- 
way on which the angels of God are constantly ascend- 
ing and descending. Thus are we incessantly and 
unweariedly to make progress towards the goal where 
the richest rewards are most freely and generously dis- 
tributed. Thus are we brought into harmony with the 
Divine arrangements. Thus are our wills adjusted to 
his will. Thus do we rise to communion with Grod. 
Thus are we identified as his loving, grateful subjects 
with the Messiah ; whose " meat and drink it was to 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



449 



do the will of the Heavenly Father." Thus do we 
honor the mission which brought us from the bosom 
of the Creator to the task-gardens which are assigned 
us respectively. Thus will a most beautiful harmony 
be established between the ends of our existence and 
the tenor and upshot of our history. " Blessed are 
those servants whom their Lord, when he cometh, 
shall find so doing P 1 



LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD. 



u And He said unto another : Follow me. But he said : Lord, suffer 
me first to go and bury my Father. Jesus said unto him, Let the 
dead bury their dead ; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." 
— Luke 9 : 59, 60. 

The name liere addressed, regarded the filial rela- 
tion, with its attendant duties, under a false construc- 
tion. Among his thoughts it was somehow inconsistent 
with the homage and the service which the Messiah 
demanded. These he thought himself ready to render, 
when he should have laid the remains of his Father in 
the grave. Till then, he could not consent to put him- 
self under the sovereign control of the Messiah. Of 
course, in his thoughts the filial relation could not 
have been founded upon the divine authority — could 
not have been a divine arrangement — it could not have 
been comprehended in the service which the Saviour 
required. For he could not, as he supposed, at the 
same time follow him and bury his father. Till the 
one was completed, the other could not be commenced. 
Under any such construction, the filial relation was a 
baseless, insignificant, lifeless affair. It was bereft of 
the principle of which, if it was any thing — had any 
meaning, it was a natural expression. It became a 
dead concern — fit only to occupy the thoughts and 
hands of those who, trampling on the constructive 
principles of their own existence, might well be de- 
scribed as "dead" — devoid of a life truly human. 

That the Saviour did not underrate and decry filial 
piety is most evident and certain. How could he ? 



.SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



451 



His character, his mission and his history were most 
accurately and fully adjusted to the Laws on which 
our nature was organized. All the characteristic ele- 
ments of our common humanity entered under the 
best types and in the highest degree into his person- 
ality. In his aims, methods and exertions — in the 
objects he pursued — in the spirit he breathed — in the 
achievements he made, they were manifested beauti- 
fully and grandly. Of every thing Human, he was 
the representative and the sovereign. How could he, 
then, regard filial piety under any form or aspect 
otherwise than with complacency ? How could he 
fail to encourage and commend it ? Even on the 
Cross he affectionately and gratefully remembered his 
mother, and made provision for her welfare. — So much 
the more must he have abhorred the false and empty 
thing, which the name addressed in the text was in- 
tent on maintaining. It usurped a place in his thoughts 
and affections to which it was ill-entitled. It took — 
certainly for the present it took precedence there of 
the Messiah — of the claims he urged and the benefits 
he bestowed. Whereas true filial piety could only 
proceed from a heartfelt regard for his authority- 
could only grow out of allegiance to his throne. No- 
thing, therefore, could be more absurd and hurtful 
than to prefer an arrangement which sprung from his 
authority to the authority itself, in which the arrange- 
ment originated. Hence the strong and pointed terms, 
in which the Saviour here exposed and corrected the 
mistake, as gross as it is common, into which our in- 
quirer fell. Under his construction filial piety was a 
" dead" affair, which "the dead" might well be left to 
dispose of according to their taste and ability. 



452 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Those who were to be intrusted with the task of 
burying were "dead" in the same sense as the worth- 
less rubbish they might be expected to inter. They 
habitually violated the Laws of their existence. In 
their aims and activity they were at variance with the 
principles on which their nature was constructed. 
They were one thing, constitutionally ; quite another, 
historically. The Human of the former was perverted 
in the latter into the Animal. How, then, could the 
former manifest itself — how even exist in the latter ? 
The Humanity which they had inherited was over- 
borne and overwhelmed by the passions which they 
had cherished. They were u dead" therefore; so far 
as the exercise, enjoyment and manifestation of their 
proper personality — of their true selves were concerned. 
Xothing could proceed from them wdiich did not bear 
their image. Their own impress they could not but 
leave on whatever they might produce. And they 
could not be expected to occupy themselves with any 
task or attempt which was foreign to their character. 
It was fit and proper that the interment of " their own 
dead" should be committed to their hands. 

With all propriety might the remains of those who 
had departed this life be described as in the text, as 
appropriately the "dead" of those who had suicidally 
trampled on every thing vital and characteristic in the 
nature by which they were distinguished. " Their 
own dead" these might well be reckoned. For disease, 
under every type — death, under every form, is the 
natural result of the violation of the Laws of our ex- 
istence. This is the exclusive origin of whatever 
renders our departure from this life repulsive and 
frightful — of whatever makes death "the king of ter- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



453 



rors." But for this, the conclusion of our terrestrial 
existence would be anticipated with delight, and would 
be effected under influences and circumstances alto- 
gether grateful and inspiring. To every skull and 
crossbone in the world the disloyal and rebellious have 
a natural claim. Such relics, wherever found, and in 
whatever condition, are all " their own," fitly and in- 
alienably. 

All the institutions and forms which the all-wise 
Father has introduced for the benefit of mankind, 
were constructed on the same principles as our com- 
mon Humanity. How could they otherwise be adapted 
to our improvement and welfare ? They were adjusted 
to the nature which we have inherited ; and are there 
fore called human institutions. So far as they are what 
the names they respectively bear represent them to be, 
they are each an embodiment and manifestation of 
some constructive principle. This is the soul and the 
substance of the institution in which it inheres. To 
this the institution is indebted wholly for all the health- 
ful tendencies with which it may be pregnant — for all 
the kindly influences it may be adapted to exert. Its 
happy bearings and good results in human history 
have here their origin. Of this principle the institu- 
tion is a symbol and an expression. Bereft of this 
principle, it becomes dead and worthless. It ought, as 
soon as possible, to be buried — amidst other worthless 
or noxious rubbish. 

Civil Government is fitly regarded and described as 
a human institution. That it is in its origin, nature, 
tendencies. It is designed and adapted to define and 
defend human rights — to describe and commend human 
duties — to illustrate and promote human welfare. 



454 



SEKMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



Righteousness is naturally the principle whence it de- 
rives its significance and power — to w r hieh, in all its 
objects and arrangements — its aims and measures, it 
carefully adjusts itself. Under its proper character — 
— with its natural influences, it is immeasurably, un- 
speakably a benefit to mankind — a God-send of ines- 
timable worth and dignity. It is a reflection of the 
Eternal Throne. It is a shadow of the Infinite Ma- 
jesty. It is w r orthy of warm complacency — of lively 
confidence — of profound veneration — of cordial, liberal, 
grateful support. But bereft of its constructive princi- 
ple, it falls worthless to the ground. It is no longer a 
human institution. Its influence is no longer healthful ; 
it is hurtful. It has forfeited all claim to our respect 
and confidence and support. It is thenceforth a " dead" 
affair — " good for nothing" — " to be cast out and trod- 
den under foot of men." 

In the sphere of Ecclesiastical thought and endeavor, 
various forms, arrangements and usages solicit atten- 
tion. They are more or less appropriate — more or less 
striking — more or less imposing according to the origin 
whence they may have sprung, or the circumstances in 
which they may appear. They are often the result of 
intense thought and exhausting effort — are often showy 
and expensive. In almost every community they are 
prominent among the objects which are pointed at as 
worthy of observation and study. From them some 
of our most cherished recollections and impressions 
were derived. Nor are they, when truly what they 
claim to be, unworthy of the deep interest which they 
awaken — the warm admiration which they excite. 
Their main design, their grand purpose is to set forth 
and explain and commend the principles, designs and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



455 



methods which characterize Christianity. To this they 
are adapted — for this they were introduced. From 
this they derive all their significance, worth and beauty. 
They are to be a medium through which the voice of 
the Saviour may reach us — through which we may lay 
hold of the benefits which he is pleased to offer. This 
is their appropriate office — the sum and substance — the 
very being of their existence. But when the character- 
istic design for which they were instituted is counter- 
acted or lost sight of in shaping such forms — in organ- 
izing such arrangements — in maintaining such usages, 
they fall into utter worthlessness. Their proper mean- 
ing has escaped. They are struck with death, and 
should be thrown among other shapeless and worthless 
rubbish. 

The sphere of business was opened as a field in 
which the principle of Work and Wages might be 
illustrated and applied and maintained. This is the 
mainspring of all the machinery which may here be 
put- in motion. The intimate relation which naturally 
unites work with wages and wages with work, should 
here be explained and insisted on. From this, every 
thing belonging here should spring, and to this be ad- 
justed. Work should be performed as the condition of 
wages ; and wages should be offered as the encourage- 
ment of work. So far as the arrangements here main- 
tained ; the objects here pursued ; the expedients here 
preferred are a true exponent and confirmation of this 
principle, they are to be regarded with complacency 
and respect — they are to be prized and protected. But 
no sooner do they fail to manifest and honor the prin- 
ciple to which they belong, than they forfeit not only 
ail respect and confidence, but their very existence also. 



456 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Their tendency is wholly to mischief and misery. 
They become a nuisance which ought at once to be 
abated. 

Such are some of the various forms of death to 
which our Saviour in the text so pointedly and solemnly 
adverts. Wherever the constructive principle, on 
which any thing to which we may have access was 
fashioned, has departed, that thing, however imposing 
and however venerated, becomes insignificant and 
worthless. It must thenceforth be a form without a 
heart — a shadow devoid of substance. It is fit only 
for the coffin and the grave. 

The term "bury" in the text our Saviour employs 
comprehensively. It is the last service we can perform 
for any object which lies within the sphere of mortality. 
It comprehends and represents whatever may be to be 
attempted for the benefit of terrestrial things, from first 
to last, during the whole term of their appearance. It 
is the last office of filial piety ; and implies whatever 
might be incumbent on a child in protecting and sus- 
taining and cheering his parents all along the path 
down which old age may totter. So with regard to 
institutions and arrangements which are decaying and 
death-struck. To bury them is to conclude a series of 
thought and effort on their behalf extending through 
their whole history. 

Now, our Saviour in the text describes those to 
whom we should leave the performance of all such 
services. In so doing he adjusts himself to the Law 
of fitness and congruity. "Let the dead bury their 
own dead." Let those who trample on the principles 
on which their nature was constructed dispose of the 
arrangements and institutions around them, from which 



457 



the vitalizing ideas on which they were founded have 
departed. This injunction is according to the ever- 
lasting proprieties. What it enjoins, fitness commends 
and demands. 

For these arrangements and institutions have lost 
their significance and power through the infectious 
breath and palsying hand of unprincipled pretenders. 
Their "image and superscription" they impress on 
every thing they handle. And this in all their rela- 
tions to every human institution. They trample rudely 
and wantonly on the principles which are essential to 
their own existence as human creatures. These prin- 
ciples, as heart-strings, run through every human in- 
stitution. They are the very threads which are woven 
into its tissue. He who treads them down as the 
vitality of his own existence, cannot be supposed to 
respect and cherish them as the basis of the institutions 
with which he may be connected. 

Those whom the Saviour describes as " dead" are far 
from averse to the task which seems here to be assigned 
them. The institutions and arrangements to which I 
have so freely and frequently adverted, are what they 
are — insignificant and powerless — through their agency. 
The presence and authority of principle, under any 
name or modification, they cannot endure. They re- 
gard it with apprehension and remorse as the murderer 
the gallows. Its triumph is their defeat. To exalt it 
is to abase them. They promptly,, stoutly, obstinately 
refuse to attempt any thing adapted in an}' way to its 
prevalence and influence. They can regard no human 
institution with complacency — to nothing human can 
they be induced to lend their sympathy and support, 
whether animate or inanimate, till they have robbed it 
20 



458 



SERMONS A2sD DISCOURSES. 



of its constructive principle. Till then they can by no 
means be induced to give their countenance and sup- 
port to any candidate for office either in the sphere 
ecclesiastical or political. Imagine a name, distin- 
guished for wisdom and integrity and philanthropy — 
a genuine and powerful "son of man,' 7 seated in this 
Eepublic in the presidential chair ! Any such imagin- 
ation is in direct and flagrant conflict with all proba- 
bility and all history. A stern, comprehensive and 
unyielding regard for principle has alwa} r s been an in- 
superable obstacle to political elevation. Candidates 
for office, and the holders of office have, with the fewest 
exceptions, been known to be totally unprincipled. In 
every department of the government they have here 
united in sacrificing the principles on which our nature 
was constructed to trivial and pitiful expedients — to 
the demands of unbridled passion. Voters, neglectful 
or defiant of principle, will cast their ballots only for 
candidates like themselves — for wretches 11 who would 
break the world in pieces to make a stool to sit on" — 
who would sacrifice the life-blood of humanity to fame 
or emolument. Such creatures, in church and state, 
they raise to the summits of that monstrous compost- 
heap, which they call society. These, of every man, 
who contributes to their elevation and admits their 
claims, are M his own dead." They properly belong to 
him. They are what they are with his consent or 
assistance. In aim, activity and character, they are 
suited to his taste, prejudices and purposes. They are 
what he desires and demands. He is of course dis- 
posed to defend and encourage and sustain them. For 
this he is ready to submit to exhausting toil and heavy 
expenses. He will cheat and lie — trample on honor 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



459 



and decency — put himself into the most degrading 
attitudes and exhibit the most ridiculous antics to get 
them into office — hoping that his party in general, and 
perhaps himself in particular, may thus ascend the 
pole where human monkeys display, nakedly and 
broadly, whatever in themselves is most revolting and 
disgusting ! He pronounces it well thus to lay out his 
strength and expend his money. These mortifying 
conclusions are fully confirmed by whatever character- 
izes the scenes witnessed among us at any popular 
election. Of all these, hard cider and log-cabins are 
a fit symbol and example. How can a President be 
elected without some such expedient ? And what 
party can be named which is not ready to pay the ex- 
penses ? 

The conclusion on which we have thus been forced, 
is of course fully applicable to the institutions and ar- 
rangements which may any where, and under any 
name, prevail. They must be separated, each from its 
constructive principle, before those whom the text in- 
troduces can be induced to give it their countenance 
and support. In the multiplied revolutions which 
have rent and torn the Human Family, when were the 
natural objects of civil government made the subject 
of controversy and the occasion of war ? Windy, 
frothy talk enough, perhaps, about justice, human 
rights and freedom was poured upon the loathing ear ; 
but clearly for quite other purposes than the words 
employed might naturally indicate. For the actors, 
both principal and subordinate, in the scenes thus ad- 
verted to, have generally themselves been servile and 
unjust — the prompt and stout assailants of the rights 
to which mankind are naturally entitled. Had they 



460 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



been assured that, as the result of their political enter- 
prise and martial adventures, a government would 
spring up, accurately and fully adjusted to the demands 
of the Eternal Throne — expressive and promotive 
every way of order and justice — where righteousness, 
in all its applications and bearings, would find a home, 
they would at once have abandoned the ground they 
had attempted to occupy. The majority of our coun- 
trymen can wrangle and wrestle in the sphere of poli- 
tics about modes and forms and names — about the 
skeleton of civil government ; but put a living soul 
into the skeleton — give to such names and forms and 
modes their proper significance — let the prerogatives 
of God and the rights of man be clearly defined, be 
authoritatively asserted, be effectually protected, and 
they would at once, loudly enough, pronounce politics 
a dull, barren, repulsive affair — too low by half to in- 
terest their thoughts or enlist their energies. 

What effect, I may demand, would be produced by 
adjusting the usages and arrangements which might be 
admitted into the sphere of business and of commerce 
to the Law of Work and Wages ? How would the 
workshop, the market, the exchange be affected ? If 
Equity were there as the presiding genius, to unveil 
her face and utter her voice — if her presence were there 
authoritatively manifested, what would become of the 
multitudes which now eagerly and confidently there 
gather themselves together ? How generally would 
they not feel themselves chilled, crippled, repulsed ! 
Grass might grow, unmolested, in the open market. 
The exchange might be abandoned as fit only for a 
refuge for the fugitive. Business — commerce must not 
be conducted " on principle" — must be pushed ahead 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



461 



in opposition to principle, if general sympathy, patron- 
age, cooperation are to be expected. 

But no where can such conclusions find illustrations 
and proofs more striking and effective than in the 
sphere ecclesiastical. It is no objection with the ma- 
jority to the church, provided it offer sumptuous 
shows and urge lofty pretensions, that it is absurd, im- 
becile and servile. Far otherwise. They could not 
otherwise give it their countenance — could not even 
endure its presence. If it were an embodiment, all 
true, vital and powerful, of Christianity — if it copied 
the example, inculcated the doctrines, asserted the au- 
thority of the Messiah, it would at once lose its hold 
on those who now give it their presence and their sup- 
port. They cannot endure the thought that beyond 
the province of the senses — beyond the compass of the 
passions, objects and relations of the highest and most 
enduring significance demand our thoughts, affections, 
and endeavors ; that to treat them with indifference 
or contempt must be to play the madman and the 
suicide ; that to them we must bring whatever lies un- 
der our control into subserviency or be undone. Such 
conclusions startle, alarm, exasperate them. They 
would, therefore, exclude them from their thoughts as 
inconvenient and embarrassing. Why should they 
welcome the presence and encourage the activity of 
those who give them arm and soul — who bring tongue 
and hand into requisition to expound, confirm and ap- 
ply them ? But give them the name without the idea 
— the form without the substance — imposing appear- 
ances bereft of their awful import — give them the dead, 
mouldy relics of Christianity — its corpse, lying in 
state ; and they are at your service. They will help 



4-32 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES, 



you put a tall steeple on your church and a tall 
preacher in your pulpit. They are quite themselves — 
very much at home in thus a burying the dead." 

For to this they have always been accustomed. With 
this they commenced their career. When they first 
began to go alone — to exercise their powers, it was 
this that their nurses and overseers encouraged them 
to attempt. The first lessons which they received in 
the nursery were adapted to this service. For this 
they were trained in whatever belonged to their subse- 
quent education. "Whatever might have been neglected, 
this was most carefully attended to. By night, by day 
— at home, abroad, their attention was constantly 
directed to the one comprehensive art of " burying the 
dead." When they had left the schools and set up 
business for themselves, they were reckoned accom- 
plished and trustworthy as they proved themselves 
adroit, enterprising and effective in this business. The 
position to which they were assigned — the estimation 
in which they were held — the rewards with which they 
were enriched, depended mainly on this in economy, 
in politics, in religion. As economists, as statesmen, 
as ecclesiastics, they were looked up to and applauded 
as great, if in this they were superior to their fellows. 
Proofs, multiplied and mortifying, of all this, you may 
find in every department of human activity in this and 
every other country. The names who have won from 
the world the title of "great" have reached this dis- 
tinction through their superior adroitness, address and 
success in adjusting themselves to empty forms; to 
arrangements and usages from which their proper 
meaning had escaped ; to institutions, built up on the 
denial and renunciation of the principles which they 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



463 



nominally represented. " Let the dead, then, bury the 
dead ;" for to this they have always been accustomed. 

And surely they are numerous enough. They have 
ever been in the majority. Of the young and the old — 
of the learned and the rude — of the strong and the 
weak — of those who occupy the heights, and of those 
who occupy the depths of human existence — here, 
there, every where — at all times and in all circum- 
stances they constitute the bulk and the mass. They 
control all modes and fashions and usages. They 
modify and direct and color the general sentiment, 
whatever it may be, and whatever it may demand. In 
every election they prevail — in every war they triumph. 
Their presence is dominant and their voice is sovereign 
on the market and in the exchange — in church and 
state. Wherever numbers are demanded in " burj r ing 
the dead" — in attending to, and disposing of, any de- 
sign which, under any name and form, may belong to 
the sphere of mere appearances, they are at your 
service. They are sure to gather around you in 
crowds — to urge themselves upon you as practised, 
devoted, enterprising sextons — to whom the scent of 
graves, new or old — open or closed, is most grateful 
and refreshing. 

Why, then, should loyal souls — sparsely scattered 
over a wide surface — here one and there another — in 
retired nooks and obscure corners — known by those 
around them as "pilgrims and strangers," especially 
open to suspicion or aversion — why should they offer 
sympathy and aid to the majority in performing the 
tasks to which they are so fully competent and strongly 
disposed ? Why load themselves with coals for New- 
castle ? Surely there are empty forms and idle shows 



464 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



enough, already in the world without my attempting to 
add to the number. Surely I need not offer my assist- 
ance in modifying or managing or commending any of 
the worthless vanities which now occupy the thoughts 
and the hands of the multitude. I might well be re- 
garded as officious and meddlesome — as attempting 
what might well be left to the ready zeal and effective 
exertions of those who regard this as their proper voca- 
tion — their chosen and cherished employment. 

Were we, moreover, to join them in their designs 
and endeavors, we should thus inflict upon them a 
heavy injury. They need to be convinced of the 
errors into which they have fallen, and recalled from 
the vanities with which they are engrossed. They are 
otherwise undone. Every true man is bound in this 
very thing to exert himself — for their deliverance — to 
come to the rescue. It is his to present to them in his 
own history such a model of character, and such a 
pattern of conduct as may be best adapted to awaken 
within them salutary convictions, healthful resolutions 
and manly endeavors. And this he can by no means 
do, if he. identifies himself with them in their aims, 
methods and exertions — if he unites with them in 
"burying their dead." Pie will thus leave them the 
victims of gross delusions, and involve himself in the 
guilt and misery to which they are exposed. He has 
something else to attempt. And to this the Saviour, 
with great earnestness and emphasis, in the passage 
before us, invites our attention. Let us give heed 
to the comprehensive duty which he here enjoins : 
a Gro thou and preach the kingdom of God." 

Let us earnestly inquire what that may be on which 
the Saviour here so solemnly insists under the phrase 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



465 



11 the kingdom of God." And the more so, as this is 
a subject which he frequently introduces in his dis- 
courses as marked by bearings upon our welfare alto- 
gether vital. It is " the kingdom of God." Sovereignty 
is essential to his existence. It springs from the ele- 
ments of his being and the attributes of his character. 
To be what he is is necessarily to be king. Every 
manifestation of himself must be a proclamation of his 
majesty. For in wisdom, goodness and power united, 
authority must inhere. It is asserted and felt wherever, 
in the whole compass of human thought and endeavor, 
these are manifested. And in him these Ideas, vital, 
germinative and fruit-bearing, live in the highest de- 
gree and under the most impressive types : live, there- 
fore, in him right royally. — Now he is continually 
manifesting himself to human consciousness through the 
Laws which prevail throughout the entire sphere of our 
existence. These we recognize and describe under 
their own proper character. They force their way to 
our inmost consciousness authoritatively. They im- 
press themselves upon us as the source and measure of 
our obligations ; and this by an inherent power which 
we cannot deny or resist. We may, indeed,*refuse to 
put ourselves in harmony with their demands. We 
may trample on their high claims. We may subject 
ourselves to the guilt and curse of outlawry. But the 
sense of obligation which they never fail to produce, 
we cannot extinguish or exclude. All men agree with 
all men that they ought to be and to do what the laws 
require. And Law is the all-essential element of a king- 
dom. 

It is " the kingdom of God" which our Saviour here 
commends to our study and veneration. It must, then, 
20* 



466 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



be an expression and revelation of himself character- 
istically. The attributes of his character must be the 
principles on which it is constructed and maintained. 
In its provisions and arrangements, and designs and 
institutions, his perfections must be revealed — his wis- 
dom, goodness, power and faithfulness must shine forth, 
clearly and impressively. He is the very soul of his 
kingdom. Where he is, that is ; where that is, he is. 
There is his presence, his majesty, his glory, his bless- 
edness. 

All the elements of a kingdom are here to be rever- 
ently and gratefully recognized and acknowledged. 
The Laws which are here announced carry in them and 
with them their own authority. They cannot come 
home to human consciousness without awakening there 
a sense of obligation. Their natural application to 
himself and others, no thoughtful man can fail to per- 
ceive. And every where, in the entire compass of ex- 
perience, observation and history, facts are every day 
accumulating, evincing most clearly and decisively that 
obedience is always well rewarded and disobedience 
punished. 

It is " the kingdom of God" to which our thoughts 
are here directed. It must, then, be as universal as his 
presence. He is every where — and every where Him- 
self. He is the soul of the Universe. His own proper 
character he every where manifests. His own proper 
position he every where maintains. His own proper 
authority he every asserts. His kingship cannot be 
separated from himself. He is every way and every 
where royal. All things, the near and the remote — 
the great and the small — the visible and the invisible — 
the physical and the spiritual, are under his jurisdic- 



SERMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



467 



tion. Go where we will — look where we may — take 
any field of inquiry within the range of thought and 
imagination — we are still beneath his eye and his 
sceptre. In dense darkness — in light intense — in soli- 
tude — amidst the multitude — in the midst of business 
■ — in the closet — during all the days of the year and 
all the hours of the day and all the moments of the 
hour, we are beneath his majesty. 

The kingdom thus described, the Saviour urges the 
inquirer in the text and us through him to proclaim- 
And this in direct and pointed opposition to the way 
in which the buriers of the dead are occupied. Never 
was a disjunctive conjunction, an expressive but em- 
ployed with greater propriety or stronger emphasis. 
The two offices here introduced stand over against each 
other like a bold affirmative and a flat negative in 
marked contrast. — Whoever may waste time and 
strength in managing and disposing of lifeless institu- 
tions, arrangements and designs, it is for us individu- 
ally, each in his place, " every man according to his 
ability," "to preach the kingdom of God." "Go 
thou," under thine own name and with thine own 
power, and devote arm and soul to this great service. 
And this, in every way, word-wise and deed-wise — by 
power of speech and force of character. 

The principles of this kingdom are the laws of our 
existence. They enter constructively and vitally into 
the nature we have inherited. They assert their au- 
thority in the depths of our being. Here they pro- 
claim their sovereignty and demand obedience. In 
obeying the Saviour, then, we shall first recognize their 
presence and study their import. We shall candidly 
and earnestly mark their bearing upon the aims, me- 



468 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



thocls, efforts which, may reacli our thoughts and stir 
our energies. Whatever may belong to the Active 
Faculty within us, we shall submit to their guidance 
and control. It will be our steadfast purpose and our 
resolute endeavor to form ourselves — to fashion our 
character on the model which they furnish. We shall 
welcome them in full authority to the heart of our 
hearts — to our inmost spirits. Their absolute dominion 
over us — over our thoughts, affections, active energies, 
we shall regard as the highest consummation to which 
we can aspire — as involving wisdom, goodness, strength 
— the freest development, fullest maturity and happiest 
enjoyment of ourselves — of our proper personality. 
Thus these laws will identify themselves with all that 
is voluntary as well as with all that is constitutional in 
our history. They will look through our eyes and 
speak through our lips and act through our exertions. 
They will live in us and we shall live through them. 
Wherever we go they will go with us ; whatever we 
attempt we shall attempt on their authority. Thus in 
every manifestation of ourselves, we shall proclaim 
" the kingdom of God." 

Thus we rise to unity with ourselves and to unity 
with and under the Messiah. — For in him these prin- 
ciples, as the organic elements of his being, were em- 
bodied in singular strength, symmetry and beauty. 
Our nature in him was raised to the highest pitch of 
worth and dignity. It was in him purely, preemi- 
nently, royally human. It furnished the broadest, 
firmest, most stable basis for exalted character. — In the 
exercise of his powers according to the principles of 
our Humanity, this character was formed and mani- 
fested. For he was evermore and in the highest de- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



469 



gree true to the principles of his existence. They were 
clearly revealed to his eye — they were unspeakably 
dear to his heart — they took fast hold of his active 
energies. In all he inculcated, in all he achieved, in 
all he enjoyed, their sovereign influence he most grate- 
fully welcomed. From them he derived wisdom, 
power, magnanimity — and all these in the largest mea- 
sure and the highest degree. He thus ascended in our 
nature to the loftiest pinnacle in excellence and dignity 
to which thought can climb or imagination aspire. In 
this his royalty consisted. This was the soul and sub- 
stance of the Messiah ship — the very stuff of which his 
throne was constructed. His kingship was founded in 
the elements of his nature and the attributes of his 
character — the latter being of the former a clear, full 
and beautiful manifestation. Thus of the " kingdom 
of God'' he became for the Human Family the soul and 
substance. Its principles and laws — its institutions and 
arrangements were all involved in his history — must 
all be evolved from it if they were to be proclaimed to 
mankind. — Fidelity to the organic principles of our nature 
must, then, unite us to Him as our head and sovereign. It 
is thus we proclaim him the Messiah — thus " preach 
the kingdom of God." 

In loyalty to him, we find ourselves — become distinct- 
ively and consistently ourselves. We are at one with 
ourselves when our history is built up on the nature we 
have inherited. Till then we are one thing in consti- 
tution and structure and quite another in aim, exertion 
and manifestation. As on the one hand inheriting in 
the depths of our consciousness the principles of the 
Divine kingdom, and on the other as borne away by 
lawless appetites and unbridled passions, we are in con- 



470 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



flict with ourselves. Integrity and consistency we can- 
not maintain and manifest. In adjusting ourselves to 
the principles in which the " kingdom of Grod" consists, 
we rise to integrity and unity. We cease to be monsters 
and become Men — the outward becoming a true index 
of the inward. And having reached this consumma- 
tion and ascended to this eminence — having attained 
to true and substantial unity, we shall be ourselves — 
shall manifest ourselves in all the relations we may 
sustain and on all the occasions in which we may lay 
out our strength and expend our resources. 

In the sphere of business, and amidst the domestic 
relations, we shall be true to the high demands of 
Truth, Order and Justice. We shall take each his own 
appropriate place and insist on others falling into theirs. 
Whatever may come under our control we shall treat 
— shall dispose of according to its character. To every 
thing, brute or human, within the sphere of our in- 
terests and responsibilities, we shall render its due 
promptly and fully. In our intercourse with our supe- 
riors, equals and inferiors, we shall, on a small scale 
and a large scale, on occasions ordinary and extraor- 
dinary, in public and in private — we shall honor and 
apply the principles of the Heavenly kingdom — thus 
constantly strengthening their hold upon ourselves and 
commending them to the study and confidence of our 
fellows. In the field as husbandmen, in the workshop 
as artisans— in the exercise of mind and in the exercise 
of muscle — amidst our necessities, tasks and resources, 
we shall, as our all- engrossing purpose, maintain the 
authority of the universal Sovereign ; and thus con- 
tribute, according to our ability, to the objects of his 
government. Truth, Order, Justice will impress their 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



471 



image on the acres we cultivate, the wares we produce, 
the very tools we work with. 

In the sphere of Civil Government we shall reso- 
lutely maintain the position of loyalty to u the kingdom 
of God and this, whatever may be our political rela 
tions and responsibilities. This we shall regard as a 
medium through which the Heavenly Majesty may be 
manifested and venerated. As such, and only as such, 
we shall cooperate with it in its methods and designs — 
shall give it our countenance and support. That it 
may be such every way and in the highest degree, we 
shall wakeful ly and vigorously exert ourselves. To 
the extent of our influence we shall see to it that in all 
its institutions, arrangements and appliances, it adjust 
itself to the Eternal Throne — that it build itself up on 
Truth, Order, Justice as its natural basis. To those 
who most cordially and powerfully assert the authority 
of these sovereign Ideas, we shall offer our allegiance 
as our Heaven-appointed rulers. We shall recognize 
their commission in their character — in the likeness 
they bear to the King of kings — in their deep-toned 
and comprehensive loyalty to the Heavenly Majesty. 
And this in whatever estimation they may be held by 
the majority of their fellows and in whatever circum- 
stances they may be placed. Amidst what may claim 
to be the arrangements of society, they may be thrust 
into obscure corners ; may be occupied with menial 
services ; may be regarded with contempt or aversion. 
Nay, they may be repelled by their fellows generally 
as singular, or infatuated, or reckless, or obstinate — as 
a disturbing force amidst the elements and arrange- 
ments and harmonies of society. They may even be 
pronounced criminal as contemning the authority and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



violating the ordinances and resisting the designs of the 
communities in which their relations and responsibili- 
ties are to be welcomed. No matter. In our thoughts, 
affections and exertions, they will hold a place corre- 
sponding to their lofty aims and heroic exertions — to 
the character by which they are distinguished. To 
them we shall look for counsel, encouragement and 
protection. "We shall cordially, gratefully, reverently 
regard them as our rulers. "We shall earnestly yield 
them countenance, cooperation, support. They will 
be a medium through which our loyalty to Heaven 
may be exercised, strengthened and manifested. Thus, 
through them, we shall proclaim " the kingdom of 
God." — And no others shall we recognize and venerate 
as entitled to the place and the honors of Eulers, how- 
ever the majorities of their fellows may pronounce 
them so. The acclamation of the multitude, however 
loud and unanimous, will with us be no source of au- 
thority — no title to homage and obedience. If at any 
time tempted to yield to the influences thus exerted, 
we shall recover our balance in remembering by whose 
voices the Messiah was condemned to crucifixion. 
From unprincipled and profligate wretches we shall 
turn away with stern abhorrence — and all the more 
promptly and decisively if they expose themselves on 
the summits of society — if they lay their harpy hands 
on prerogatives and privileges which they cannot fail 
to abuse and degrade. If forced to submit to their ex- 
actions in any form or measure, we shall do so, as we 
submit to the lawless demands of the robber or assassin. 
Thus shall we maintain our allegiance to the Source 
of all sovereignty. 

In the sphere of ecclesiastical relations and respon- 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



473 



sibilities, we shall moreover maintain our integrity and 
consistency. We shall keep our eyes fixed resolute! y 
and reverently on the object for which the Christian 
Church and the Christian Ministry were established. 
This object we shall labor earnestly and untiringly to 
subserve and promote. To the extent of our influence, 
we shall see to it, that the Church, with its institutions 
and arrangements, with its doctrines and designs and 
endeavors, is a true symbol — a fair representation of 
the Heavenly Kingdom. The principles which are 
there revealed, must be here embodied and honored. 
The aims which are there held, must be here recog- 
nized and pursued. The methods which are there pre- 
ferred, must be here employed. The spirit which is 
there breathed, must be here cherished. The authority 
of God, which is there reverenced, must be here asserted. 
The rights and duties, the prerogatives and privileges, 
which are there acknowledged, must be here enjoyed. — 
Those who characteristically yield to such obligations, we 
shall recognize as vital elements — as living members of 
the Christian Church. And this, whether they do or do 
not belong to an organization, under this name or that 
— whether they have or have not subscribed to this or 
that creed — made these or those professions. — A re- 
fusal to yield to these obligations will with us exclude 
any man, any community, from the bosom of the 
Church — whatever otherwise may be their position, 
professions and reputation. They may set up the strong- 
est claims and make the highest pretensions ; the ma- 
jority may submit to their demands and bow to their 
prerogatives. No matter. If they fail to cherish and 
express the filial in their relations to the universal 
Father ; if they refuse to vindicate the rights, redress 
the wrongs and promote the welfare of their fellow- 



474 



SEKM0NS AND DISCOURSES. 



men, without respect to classes, clans and castes — with- 
out respect to color or condition — without respect to 
sects and parties, we shall hold them up to general ab- 
horrence as false, malignant, mischievous. Thus shall 
we proclaim, negatively and affirmatively, the King- 
dom of God. 

Our tongues, moreover, will be specifically and di- 
rectly enlisted in this great service. Whenever and 
wherever we may open our lips, we shall speak in be- 
half of " the Kingdom of God." — Our relations to the 
domestic circles to which we may respectively belong, 
we shall explain and commend in the light of the di- 
vine authority. The paternal and the filial, with what- 
ever they may involve or imply, will in our thoughts and 
speech be referred to a heavenly origin, and be urged 
on the attention of others accordingly. — And so in the 
maxims and doctrines and discussions, to which in the 
sphere of economy and business we may give our 
countenance, we shall take counsel of the heavenly wis- 
dom, and adjust our conclusions to the oracles of God. 
The principles of his government we shall magnify as 
the natural foundation of all commercial intercourse. 
All attempts here to build up one on the ruins of an- 
other, on a large or a small scale, we shall be forward 
to expose and prompt to condemn. Work without 
wages, and wages without work, we shall hold up to 
general reprobation ; and this, under whatever dis- 
guises, and for whatever purposes, such absurdities 
may be practised, and such wrongs inflicted. — If we 
occupy, one here and another there, the position of an 
interpreter of the Will, of an Expounder of the Word 
of God, we shall explain and enforce the demands of 
his throne in application to all human relations. For 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



475 



instance, the elements, the origin, the design, the ten- 
dencies of civil government, as an institution, we shall 
define and illustrate. "Where these elements exist, 
there in our inculcations this institution will be recog- 
nized and honored. It will through these elements be 
traced to its proper origin in the Eternal Throne. Its 
design — to adapt the sovereignty of God to the com- 
prehension and exigencies of the Human Family, under 
their present form of existence — will be clearly ex- 
plained. Its tendency to awaken and nourish and con- 
firm in them the spirit of loyalty, and thus in every way 
and in the highest degree to promote their improve- 
ment and welfare, will be set in a clear and certain 
light. And such conclusions respecting civil govern- 
ment, we shall commend, whether in our relations to 
it we occupy the Pulpit, the hall of Legislation or a 
place in the court of Justice. The modes of definition, 
argument, illustration, in the one and in the other, may 
be different, but no difference will prevail in the doc- 
trines inculcated. — And what is thus affirmed of one, 
may be affirmed of all human institutions. In our 
thoughts and in our speech, the authority of God — the 
principles of his government will be the form and sub- 
stance of them all ; whatever incidental differences of 
modification and description may obtain among them. 
— Thus, deed-wise and word-wise, we shall " preach 
the Kingdom of God" — proclaim the sovereignty of the 
universal King. 

What then shall we do amidst the forms of death on 
the one hand, and the powers of life on the other ? The 
various institutions to which we are related, w^hich 
urge upon us incessantly and imperiously their respect- 
ive demands — how shall we regard them ? Here two 



476 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



things quite distinct from each other solicit our atten- 
tion — the principles in which they originated, and the 
forms which have assumed their names and their of- 
fices respectively. As embodied and maintained, they 
are marked by defects as radical as they are flagrant. 
In aim, method and influence they are subversive of 
the objects Which they professedly subserve. The in- 
stitution of civil government comprehends and represents 
all the institutions to which we are related. In Letters, 
in Economy, in Eeligion, it is bound to protect and 
encourage and assist us. It is bound to afford us the 
best examples as well as the most clear and weighty 
lessons of instruction ; and this throughout the whole 
compass of its presence and its prerogatives. The prin- 
ciples of the divine government it is bound to assert 
and maintain for the honor of the heavenly Majesty, 
and for the welfare of all who are under its control. It 
is bound in every way and by all means to vindicate 
human rights for the benefit of all human creatures, 
within the reach of its power. On this ground alone 
it is entitled to recognition, respect and support. But 
what, if instead of this we find ourselves in the pre- 
sence of a so-called government, which ignores or con- 
temns all these its natural offices and prerogatives. 
The condition of wielding the elective franchise lies in 
the age to which you have advanced and the country 
in which you were born — not at all in the capacities 
and character by which jou may be distinguished. Of 
your relations, rights and responsibilities, as connected 
with the Eepublic, you may be profoundly ignorant or 
wholly heedless. You may be the vassal and the vic- 
tim of pampered passion and eager, unbridled appe- 
tite. You may clutch at the bribes which profligate 



SEKMONS AND DISCOUESES. 



477 



aspirants may offer. Your vote you may sell to the 
highest bidder. You may prostitute yourself in the 
open street to office-seekers. Base, false and drunk — 
the dupe of dupes, the slave of slaves, the clown of 
mountebanks — you may stagger up to the ballot box. 
Your bearing and deportment may proclaim you reck- 
less, profligate, abandoned, ready to trample alike on 
human rights and the divine prerogatives — eager to 
sacrifice to grim and grinning fiends every thing signi- 
ficant, sacred, beautiful in the sphere on which you 
have obtruded your obscene and frightful presence. 
No matter. You are welcomed and courted as a mem- 
ber of the American family of sovereigns ; born, like 
all your headlong, profligate fellows, if not with a gold 
spoon in your mouth, certainly with a sceptre in your 
hand. You have, according to our political philoso- 
phers and prophets — and " their name is Legion" — an 
inalienable right to assail the authority of God and the 
welfare of Man ! Your country is the clay and you 
are the potter ; make it when and how y ou please a 
' ; vessel of dishonor ;" who cares ? It is your own af- 
fair — nobody's business but your own ! 

And in the result, what creatures may we expect 
will be thrust into the high places of 'official respon- 
sibility and power ? Just such as at different positions 
now cripple and degrade the Eepublic. The ruler is 
the voter, intensified and aggravated. It is inscribed 
in his history — it is written on his forehead : " I fear 
not God — I regard not Man." The attitude which the 
principal figures in this Eepublic unblushingly assume 
in their relations to our common Humanity and the 
various institutions established for our benefit, may be 
fairly and certainly inferred from the countenance and 



SEE 310X5 AND DISCOUKSE& 



support which they give, deliberately and habitually, to 
American slavery. This bantling, a revolting and ac- 
cursed cross between drivelling idiocy and murderous 
malignity, they take to what they call their bosoms 
and nourish on what they call their life-blood. They 
vigilantly, strenuously and obstinately .defend it ; they 
unweariedly dandle it on their knees ; they obtrusively 
commend it to the admiration and confidence of all to 
whom they may gain access. It is the very keel in 
their ship of state, to which every rib and knee and 
plank are solicitously adjusted. — Busy they are, of 
course, in undermining every institution to which we 
are related. In Eoynomy they rudely and ruthlessly 
trample on the Law of Work and Wages. The doc- 
trine which they practically inculcate, forbids the eater 
to work, or the worker to eat. The capitalist may 
make property of the laborer — may extort his sweat 
and shed his blood for his own gratification or emolu- 
ment. The laborer may lay claim to nothing but in- 
sults and injuries ; these are all his own, under every 
variety of type and degree. Thus, under the influence 
of the creatures who have usurped the reins of govern- 
ment, Economy in all its principles, arrangements and 
demands is undermined and subverted. — In the sphere 
Ecclesiastical, the blasphemies they utter, and the sacri- 
leges they commit through the same medium, are most 
enormous and shocking. They ascribe to God and 
Nature the most bare-faced and revolting violations of 
the edicts of the One and the laws of the Other — de- 
scribing God as at war with God. and Nature as in con- 
flict with Nature. The God of Truth, according to 
their representations, gives his countenance to the 
grossest falsehood ; the God of Order encourages the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



479 



most flagrant disorder ; the God of Justice sanctions 
the foulest injustice ; the God of Love smiles on the 
most malignant hatred. The God who proclaims his 
stern abhorrence " of respect of persons," takes no ex- 
ceptions at the presence and prevalence of the cord of 
caste ; is not displeased with those who, regardless of 
the intrinsic merits and solid claims of their fellows, 
scorn and spurn them on account of the sheer incidents 
or bare accidents of their existence or history. Slavery 
can by no means be endured in the sphere ecclesiastic, 
without forcing upon it such rank absurdities and gross 
blasphemies. And these must of course exclude every 
thing natural, healthful, vigorous. All things here 
.must fall into utter confusion, imbecility and contempt. 

The private history of the figures thus introduced, is 
in keeping with their official career. They are often 
notorious for gigantic vices, which they eagerly and 
openly practise. These they seem to regard as a per- 
quisite of the offices to which they have been elevated. 
They reckon themselves great men, and infer their 
title to great indulgences. They are as prominent 
figures on the race-ground, in the grog-shop and the 
brothel as in the halls of legislation or the field of ex- 
ecutive activity. They are often steeped to the very 
core in absurdity and iniquity, and present to the na- 
tion, especially to its youth, an example which it is 
hazardous to study, and death to imitate. Their influ- 
ence, official and unofficial, is in the highest degree to 
be dreaded and deprecated. 

What has thus been described, are we to counte- 
nance and support under the name of civil govern- 
ment? Government in principle, element, substance, 
is the self-same entity, wherever it may be established, 



480 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and on whatever scale it may be maintained. From 
the obscurest nursery to the most imposing empire — 
in Heaven and upon the Earth — it is the embodiment 
and the prevalence of the principles of the Reason ; it 
is the authoritative assertion of Truth, Order, Justice ; 
it is the vindication of universal Right, and the redress 
of "Wrong, wherever and however wrong may be in- 
flicted within the limits of its jurisdiction. This and 
this only, and this and this every where, is govern- 
ment. It has its origin in the Eternal Throne, and is as 
universal as the Divine Presence. Whatever it may be, 
that cannot be government which, as in this Republic, 
deliberately invades rights, deliberately inflicts wrongs. 
However organized, supported, cherished, it stands over 
in grim and ghastly opposition to that all-significant, all- 
beneficent, all-beautiful entity which should be welcom- 
ed, venerated and confided in under that name. To ad- 
mit the claims which it impudently and malignantly 
sets up, is to deny and renounce the Divine sovereignty. 
Loyalty to God requires us to refuse to gi ve it in any 
way and to any extent, our countenance and support. 
We are to treat it as it is — a base-born and mischievous 
usurpation — a conspiracy conceived in Hell and brought 
forth upon the Earth, to the perplexity and embarrass- 
ment and disgrace of all who adjust themselves to its 
demands. 

Tell me not that I am identified with this absurd 
and wicked thing by my birth and position. God 
forbid. Such a lie would suffocate me, if I were to 
attempt to swallow and digest it. By birth and posi- 
tion I belong — we all belong, wholly and forever — "to 
the Kingdom of God." His breath is the vitality of 
our existence. Our strength we derive from his power. 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 481 

" In him we live and move and have our being." " We 
his offspring are." Our very heart-strings are identical 
with the principles of his government. These we are to 
recognize ; to these " grapple ourselves as with hooks 
of steel ;" to these consecrate ourselves unreservedly, 
wholly and forever. And this, under any relation 
and on every occasion. Whatever and whoever would 
draw or drive us into conflict with these, we are 
promptly, decisively, sternly to resist. "Our meat 
and our drink" we are to seek and to find in main- 
taining the divine authority, subserving the divine 
designs and winning the smiles of the divine Father 
and King. 

21 



OFFICE OF FAITH. 



41 For we walk by Faith.'' — 2 Corinthians 5 : 7. 

The word " walk" is here employed representa- 
tively and comprehensively. It describes whatever 
may lie within the compass of human activity — what- 
ever may belong to the sphere of human history. Here 
"Faith" exerts a sovereign, a controlling influence. It 
is the soul of high enterprise, lofty endeavor, heroic 
action. Hence the Apostle, to whom we are indebted 
for the great thought which the text presents, insists 
upon it frequently, earnestly and solemnly. 

But what is Faith ? how may it be regarded and 
described ? A fact is stated — a principle is announced 
nakedly and peremptorily, without proof or illustra- 
tion. It is asserted wholly on authority. No sooner 
does it reach our consciousness, than it sheds abroad 
there a clear and certain light. It reveals itself as self- 
evident. Whatever may be its import and bearing, 
we know not how to call it in question, much less to 
deny it. Any such attempt must involve us in embar- 
rassment and confusion. It addresses us in the broad 
and strong declaration : u I am what I am." And we 
can as little stifle our convictions as close our ears. To 
the core of our hearts we regard whatever may be 
thus announced as well entitled to the fullest, strong- 
est confidence. This our whole nature imperiously de- 
mands. — Now if we cordially receive what is thus urged 
on our acceptance ; if in our aims, methods and exertions, 
we adjust ourselves to its nature and demands, we exercise 



SEKM0NS AND DISCOURSES. 



483 



—in so doing, we exercise Faith. This I understand the 
Apostle to affirm in declaring that we walk by Faith. 

This general declaration let us study and estimate in 
the light which the various elements of a history truly 
human may afford, particularly and respectively. 

1. Faith is the foundation of Knowledge. — Elementary 
Principles are very early announced to our conscious- 
ness. I may here advert to the Principle which unites 
Cause with Effect, and to that which unites Subject with 
Quality. — Put jour frosty finger on the warm cheek 
of the suckling at its mother's bosom. It is at once 
moved and affected. The impression which is thus 
made upon it, it recognizes at once as an Effect. For 
in its own way it promptly inquires for the Cause. It 
searches here and there — no matter with what success. 
The very inquiry, however conducted, clearly and cer- 
tainly evinces, that the Idea of Cause and Effect had 
risen to its consciousness. How otherwise could it have 
regarded the impression made upon it as an Effect ? 
How otherwise have gone in quest of a Cause ? — We 
early become acquainted with what are described as Qua- 
lities. They make each its own impression on us. With 
this we are familiar. Some of them are described by the 
words strong, high and sweet. Now, each of these qua- 
lities promptly, certainly, decisively leads our thoughts 
to the Subject in which it may inhere — to which it may 
belong. Our access to the Quality may be immediate 
and direct. Through it only can the Subject be an- 
nounced and apprehended. Its presence, however, we 
cannot but affirm, whenever and wherever the Quality 
attracts our attention. 

It is under the conduct of these Principles that we 
find both ourselves, and persons and objects which are 



484 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



not ourselves — which are other than ourselves. Neither 
to ourselves nor to them as Subjects and Causes, can 
we have direct and immediate access. We witness 
effects — we mark qualities ; and through these we ap- 
prehend the Subject and the Cause. A sovereign Prin- 
ciple drives us at once to this conclusion. Under the 
authority of the Eeason — the soul and source of Princi- 
ples — we lay hold of, we appropriate, we turn to the 
highest account what lies beyond the reach "of sight." 
Thus the existence, the character, the claims of the 
Cause and Subject, whether ourselves or others, lie 
among our well-defined, well-settled convictions, alto- 
gether beyond the reach of doubt or hesitation. I am 
as sure that l am as that I think. I am as sure that my 
Brother is, as that he addresses me. I am as sure of 
the existence and perfections of God, as I am of the 
presence and qualities of his works, by which I am 
surrounded. 

Knowledge is then most severely and intensely it- 
self, when it assumes the form and bears the name of 
Science. Its conclusions we receive most confidently and 
assert most decisively. These, when fairly reached, 
we triumphantly announce as demonstrated. But upon 
what basis may Science depend? What is its foun- 
dation ? Under all its forms and phases and names, it 
is built up on axioms, postulates, self-evident truths. 
It is the product of these, expanded and applied. 
From these it is evolved, and by these it is supported. 
To the authority of these you appeal in commending, 
in the purest mathematics, any conclusion which, as 
the result of a long and compact and complicated ar- 
gument, you may at length have reached. To this 
authority you promptly and lowly bow as decisive and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



48o 



sovereign. You do so under a necessity, which you 
cannot resist, from which there is no escape. In this, 
as you presume, ail your Fellows, near and remote, 
every where are with you. These primary truths? 
these first principles, on which with such undoubting 
confidence you rely, you receive and apply in the ex- 
ercise of Faith. 

Over the whole field of Ethics and Theology, Ideas 
preside with an authority as decisive as it is benignant. 
They shine upon our consciousness with a light clear, cer- 
tain, inspiring. Oder, Justice, Beauty — what less can 
we do than pronounce them altogether worthy of com- 
placency, confidence, veneration ? They proclaim 
themselves to be what they are, without borrowing 
illustration or support from any foreign quarter what- 
ever. They are Order, Justice, Beauty, to be received 
wholly on their own account — to be reverenced for 
their own intrinsic worth and dignity. 

Any doctrine, any conclusion within the whole com- 
pass of thought and inquiry, which can fairly be pro- 
nounced conformed to these Ideas, we at once regard 
as sound, tenable and healthful. It is so for this very 
reason. Whatever may be its bearing or application 
— however it may affect our fortunes, reputation or life 
— it is at one with Order, Justice and Beauty ; it is 
every where felt to be worthy of complacency and con- 
fidence. This is the highest result of our best efforts 
in collecting evidence, in applying illustrations, in 
weaving and arranging arguments. When in Ethical 
or Theological discussions we have shown, that our 
positions are demanded by any of these Ideas, no sane 
inquirer can ask us to go farther. We have satisfied 
the demands of Beason. We stand justified at the 



486 



sekmoxs And discourses. 



highest tribunal to which, we can be summoned. If 
an opponent, after admitting that the doctrines we in- 
culcated, and the conclusions we commended, were 
just and right, were promotive of Order and radiant 
with Beauty, should still remain in doubt, unconvinced 
— if he should require us to explain and prove and 
justify the Ideas themselves, to which we had ap- 
pealed, and on which we relied, he would show him- 
self a lunatic. In the whole province of inquiry, in- 
vestigation, argument — throughout the entire sphere 
of logic, these Principles are regarded as sovereign. 
From their authority there is no appeal. Our highest 
knowledge finds in them its proper foundation, and they 
are received and applied by Faith. 

2. Faith is the ground of Hope. — Hope is generally 
supposed to consist of two elements : desire and expec- 
tation. "When these unite on the same thing, it is an 
object of hope. Now the Principles, so much insisted 
on in this discourse, address themselves equally to these 
elements. — Those primitive Ideas, to which I have so 
freely adverted, are in themselves most worthy of com- 
placency and delight : they are so in all their bearings 
and tendencies. In all their applications and results, 
they are most desirable. Nothing can be more so than 
that Order should prevail, Justice be done, Beauty shed 
its radiance abroad. In this, our highest interests are 
involved. By this, our best welfare must be promoted. 
If this were* universal, the flowers and fruits of Para- 
dise would be every where abundant. 

The ascendency and prevalence of these Ideas may, 
moreover, be ivell expected. For they are in themselves 
authoritative. They are the very soul of sovereignty. 
They rise according to their natural tendencies superior 
to whatever may oppose or resist them. This ten- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



487 



dency is every where manifesting itself, either affirma- 
tively or negatively ; affirmatively, wherever their 
authority is welcomed ; negatively, wherever it is re- 
sisted ; affirmatively, in the substantial and imperish- 
able benefits they confer ; negatively, in the pains and 
penalties they inflict. It is only accident which ren- 
ders this great conclusion any where or any how doubt- 
ful or obscure ; and all accidents are in their very 
nature temporary. They cannot long resist inherent 
tendencies. 

Faith seizes on these Ideas, these Principles, and 
brings them home to the business and bosom. It fas- 
t:ns them on the heart-strings and mingles them with 
the life-blood. They are there, with all in them which 
is adapted to awaken desire ; they are there, with all 
their sovereign tendencies. Thus appropriated, they 
cannot but give birth and vigor to Hope. It must 
assert its presence in the depths of our existence. It 
will there quicken, encourage and inspire. It will 
brighten our pathway and invigorate our powers. The 
hopes we cherish, will correspond in quality and de- 
gree with the Faith we exercise. 

The conclusion thus arrived at and commended, may 
be confirmed by particular illustrations, obvious in 
every sphere of life to which we may gain admittance. 
The hopes of the husbandman on the soil, and of the 
mariner on the water, amidst their responsibilities and 
necessities, rise or fall as their Faith is weak or strong. 
The former, in adjusting himself earnestly and reso- 
lutely to the principles which Faith embraces, cannot 
but hope to " fill his bosom with golden sheaves ;" can- 
not but hope to see plenty smile around him. Break 
the hold which these Principles through Faith main- 



488 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



tain upon him, and his hopes must fade and perish. — ■ 
So the mariner finds his hopes brightened and invi- 
gorated nnder the same high-born influence. He hopes 
to reach the port, to which the ship's head is turned, 
through Faith in the Principles insisted on in this con- 
nection, modified and adapted to navigation. 

3. Faith is the natural basis of exertion, — Over the 
sphere of the voluntary, the active, where freedom 
finds its home, the Reason presides. It is the source 
and substance of the Laws which the Will as the Will 
naturally obeys. Our activity is properly voluntary — 
is free just so far as it is reasonable, and no farther. To 
violate the principles and disobey the laws of the Rea- 
son, is to plunge headlong into slavery. The experi- 
ment has been made a thousand times, and always with 
the same result. Multitudes dream that fuller freedom 
may thus be enjoyed. They reject the guidance which 
Reason offers, and throw off the restraints which Rea- 
son imposes. They give loose reins to the appetites 
and passions. These they recklessly and wantonly gra- 
tify. They plunge headlong into debauchery ; they 
run into every sort of excess to which they may be 
tempted. They make a boast of their free thinking 
and loose living. But are they able thus to wield their 
powers and expend their resources, and improve their 
advantages with freedom? Far, very far otherwise. 
It is most clear and certain to every sober observer, 
that thus their energies are crippled — their resources 
squandered — themselves reduced to all that is abject 
and revolting in slavery. Xothing thus unmanned — 
thus in conflict with the laws of their existence — can 
they in the sphere of human activity be expected to 
accomplish. They are busy not in doiny, but in undo- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



489 



ing. The farther they proceed in the direction they 
have blindly and rashly taken, the more entirely they 
lose self-possession — the more hopelessly are they un- 
done. They become a burden to themselves and a 
nuisance to others. — But exertion according to the 
Laws of Eeason, is ever effective and productive. It 
is work, properly and significantly. It always in- 
volves and imparts wages. It opens the way for suc- 
cess. For thus occupied, our powers, our resources, 
whatever advantages may lie within our reach, we 
shall be able to bring into full and effective requisition. 
And in adjusting ourselves to the principles thus 
brought home to our " business and bosom," " we 
walk by Faith." 

Eeason, under one modification or another, presides 
over every particular department of human exertion. 
The principles under which it reveals itself, are the 
soul and substance of every art, which may contribute 
directly or indirectly to the welfare of mankind. This, 
every Artist knows and owns, to whatever tasks his 
powers may be applied. He occupies himself with the 
Ideas which have risen to his consciousness. These he 
labors to embody in the work of his hand — to express 
in whatever he may produce. This is the goal for 
which he pants. His distance from it is the measure 
of his success. This may be affirmed of all arts, 
whether you call them fine or useful. 

It is now admitted by thoughtful men generally, 
that Ideas vitalize — that Laws preside over Agricul- 
ture. As these are understood and applied, the earth 
yields the riches, gives up the supplies which are hid- 
den in its bosom. If the husbandman is obedient to 
the power which thus offers to guide and encourage 
21* 



490 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



him, he succeeds in his business. A large reward 
crowns his exertions. — Otherwise he toils as a slave or 
a drudge. His efforts are rash or random. He strug- 
gles blindly along. He scarcely rises above the eye- 
less horse, which urges its dark and weary way around 
the mill. But even his efforts, just so far as they are 
productive, must be according to established principles, 
however -unwittingly and unskilfully they may be ap- 
plied. Whatever step may here be taken, must be 
taken with closed or open eyes, according to the prin- 
ciples which Faith embraces. Here, as every where, 
"we walk," if we walk at all, by Faith. — The hus- 
bandman and the artisan, each in his sphere, sustain 
the same relations to Faith. Without it, neither the 
one nor the other can honor his responsibilities, or ac- 
complish his tasks. With it, both the one and the 
other can lay out their strength, and expend their re- 
sources with substantial results. 

4. Faith is the source of the ENCOURAGEMENT which 
may be afforded — of the assistance which may be offered 
us. — The principles through which the Reason vouch- 
safes its presence and asserts its authority, are alto- 
gether vital to the social element in Human nature. 
They give it life and power and efficiency. Through 
them it exerts itself naturally and effectively. They are 
the soul and substance of social activity. This assumes 
a wide variety of forms — admits of numerous descrip- 
tions. We hear of families, partnerships, associa- 
tions, unions, states, nations ; and these very vari- 
ously modified and maintained. Men unite with men 
in various ways and for various purposes. On one oc- 
casion and another, they offer each other sympathy, 
counsel and cooperation. And what is thus offered, 



i 

SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



491 



our necessities require. Amidst our efforts and our 
enjoyments, we are constantly bringing the social into 
requisition. "We are always disposed, we are often im- 
pelled, to avail ourselves of the presence and powers 
of our Fellows. 

But however pressing may be our necessities, and 
however fervent our prayers, ive cannot be assisted at a 
false position. We may in our plans and exertions be 
intent on spreading disorder or inflicting injustice. We 
may be trying to build ourselves up at the expense of 
others. We may assail their rights. Their natural 
claims upon us we may ignore or resist. We may be 
ready recklessly and wantonly to crush what is dear 
to their hearts and essential to their welfare. — In per- 
petrating what we are thus intent upon, we may try 
to avail ourselves of the social element — to derive sym- 
pathy and assistance from our Fellows. We may 
tempt them by one inducement and another to join 
With us in our design. A cunning and stout conspi- 
racy may grow up, eager to second and succeed our 
attempts. Whatever of sagacity, of strength, of zeal, 
may seem to be requisite, may be promptly and fully 
furnished. Plans may be devised, methods commended 
and exertions made, which may seem to be adapted to 
produce the very results which our passions and pre- 
judices may loudly demand. We may exult in the 
prospect of seeing and enjoying what thus seems to be 
placed within our reach. All disturbing forces, all op- 
posing influences, we may treat with scorn or defiance. 
■ — Yet, occupying, as we do, a false position — totally 
inconsistent with the Laws of our existence, we can 
by no means — however numerous and confident may 
be our allies and however large and various our re- 



492 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



sources and however eager and determined our exer- 
tions — we can by no means — we can never succeed. 
However we may be lured on by imposing shows and 
tempting appearances, we shall one day find ourselves 
baffled, defeated, crushed. We shall one day discover, 
that we have been busy a -plotting and effecting our own 
ruin — plunging headlong with our " chariots and horse- 
men into the Red Sea." Thus has it been always ; 
thus must it be every where and forever. For the 
Laws which vitalize and invigorate our nature, upon 
which Faith fastens a strong, unyielding hand, are 
Laws — and as such must rise superior to all the force 
and cunning with which they may be assailed. 

A perverse and profligate Son may be descended 
from good and wise Parents. They may be affec- 
tionate, patient, provident ; may be ready to submit to 
stern self-denial, and to make heavy sacrifices for his 
improvement and welfare. While he refuses to listen 
to their counsels and heed their admonitions, he may 
look to them for sj^mpathy and assistance amidst his 
embarrassments and exposures. He may pronounce 
it practicable for them to render him the aid which his 
necessities require. But he is in this grossly and cer- 
tainly mistaken. What he demands, they can by no 
means render, however anxious they may be to pro- 
mote his welfare. He is on the wrong road, and sym- 
pathy and assistance in that direction, would only re- 
move him still more widely from the mark — would 
only carry him farther from the true goal. He would 
thus be encouraged in perverseness and profligacy ; 
would become more absurd and wicked and wretched. 
He must adjust himself in aim, spirit, method, exer- 
tion, to the principles on which his nature was con- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



493 



structed, or help can by no means be afforded him. 
By Faith he must be saved, if saved at all. 

Injustice, gross and flagrant, was wrought into the 
very foundation of this Kepublic. Those principles 
which are essential to national welfare, even to national 
existence, were ruthlessly violated. Provision was 
made for the infliction of the heaviest injuries upon 
our Humanity. As a result, unrequited tears and un 
avenged blood have been shed in copious streams and 
floods. And these continue to flow and rush darkly 
and resistlessly along. — And yet multitudes among us 
dream that the Eepublic reposes on a solid basis ; that 
if we would, we might protect it from the evils to 
which it is manifestly exposed, and secure for it a rich, 
strong and permanent existence. And this in oppo- 
sition to the principles of the Divine Government ; in 
despite of the wisdom and power — the sovereign pur- 
poses and unerring word of the Eternal God ; in oppo- 
sition to the voice of human experience and the lessons 
of human history ! Strange mistake ! gross absurdity ! 
Patriotism, the most intense, yearning and compre- 
hensive, armed with whatever energies, and enriched 
with whatever resources, may plot and plan — may 
wrestle and fight to utter exhaustion : it can effect no- 
thing for a Country pledged and addicted to falsehood 
and injustice. Statesmen and Priests and Warriors 
may bring arm and soul into full requisition — may 
stir Heaven and Earth with their exertions — may 
make whatever proclamations and professions and pro- 
mises their ingenuity and their zeal may suggest, they 
can effect nothing. We must let go the hot iron, if we 
would escape from its scorching power. We must re- 
nounce our sins, if we would escape the deep damnation 
which they deserve and demand. It cannot be other- 



494 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



wise. Till we consent to study and obey the Laws, 
which modify and control the social of our nature, no- 
thing can protect us. We are an outlawed nation. We 
can be saved only through Faith from the doom to which 
we are madly hastening. 

To the exhaustless and overflowing Fountain of 
good, we can have access only through Faith. The 
principles which Faitli embraces, are a manifestation 
of His presence and perfections. He lives in them. 
They are the vitality of his existence, the strength of 
Lis arm, the glory of his majesty. In them we have 
the Laws of his Kingdom, and the methods which his 
wisdom, goodness, power employ. By adjusting our- 
selves to their demands, we rise into his presence, im- 
plore his mercy, subserve his designs. We take the 
attitude to which his beneficence responds. In these 
principles he stretches out his hand to bestow ; how 
can we receive otherwise than through the same me- 
dium ? What lie gives, he cannot but give character- 
istically — give worthily of himself — give according to 
his perfections. He cannot violate the Laws of his 
Kingdom without renouncing his throne — without ob- 
scuring his majesty. This he cannot do. His mercy, 
then, will always flow in the channels which his wis- 
dom prescribes. Encouragement and assistance can 
be derived from him only in accordance with the prin- 
ciples of his government — only in obedience to the 
Laws of his empire. — If any special expedient is em- 
ployed for the benefit of Mankind, it must, to be 
worthy of their confidence, be strongly marked with 
the tendency to raise them to loyalty — to bring them to 
obey the divine requisitions. This must be its charac- 
teristic and prominent feature. Its aims, its tendency, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



495 



its effect must be to bring them into harmony with, the 
designs, the methods, the spirit of the Heavenly King- 
dom. Thus exalted, they may wield its prerogatives 
and enjoy its privileges. This is clearly, impressively, 
beautifully the design and tendency of the Christian 
method. It makes the principles of the Divine Gov- 
ernment the ground to which it most solicitously 
adapts itself in the doctrines it inculcates ; in the 
methods it commends ; in the agencies it employs , 
in the benefits it may confer. It therefore insists on 
Faith as altogether essential to our improvement and 
welfare. Without it, we cannot enjoy the smiles of 
God ; with it, we may expect the richest fruits of his 
beneficence. 

Our Saviour was sometimes urged to point out the 
way in which " eternal life" might be acquired. In 
reply, he directed the attention of the inquirer to the 
Divine Commands. These were a most marked and 
beautiful expression of the purest goodness. They 
contained and presented the principles of Life. And 
as these are eternal, so the life, derived from confor- 
mity to their demands, must be eternal. They are the 
medium through which Faith lays hold of those sub- 
stantial and imperishable benefits which are the very 
elements of Heaven. 

5. Faith is the sum and substance of Success and Frui- 
tion. — The word success is generally employed loosely, 
vaguely, improperly. It describes the object on which 
our Fellows every where are professedly intent — for 
which they seem to be ready to submit to almost any 
self-denials, and to make almost any sacrifices. For 
this " they compass sea and land" — welcome exhausting- 
toil and defy dangers, however various and frightful. 



496 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



Those whom they reckon successful, they regard, per- 
haps, with envy ; certainly with admiration. In the 
sphere of business he is, in their estimation, successful, 
who gets rich. His methods, whether of acquiring or 
expending, they do not pause to ascertain. In amass- 
ing wealth he may have inflicted deep wounds on the 
nature he has inherited — may have weakened or torn 
the bond which unites him to mankind — may have 
dissipated thought, chilled the affections, deranged the 
imagination and crippled his active powers — he may 
have become foolish, weak, wicked ; who cares ? It 
is enough that he has been successful ! — So, where 
distinction is coveted, magnified, pursued ; where in one 
way or another one pants and struggles to rise above 
his fellows. If he rises to a higher place, wears more 
imposing titles, wields loftier prerogatives, thousands 
shout his praise and pronounce him fortunate and 
happy. The " ways and means" which he employed, 
have in their thoughts a bearing slight and insignifi- 
cant enough on the question of his success. He may 
have been in conflict with every sound principle, every 
generous sentiment, every lofty aim — with every thing 
essential, permanent and ennobling in human relations, 
responsibilities and prospects — may, in climbing to a 
high place, have sunk to a low character ; no matter. 
He has outwitted and outrun his rivals — he has seized 
on the place, titles and emoluments he was eagerly and 
stoutly intent upon — every body talks loudly of his 
success. 

And yet no such success involves self-possession — 
the free and effective exercise of our human powers — 
the development and enjoyment of the nature we have 
inherited. It leaves us bankrupt in everything essen- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



497 



tial to our welfare ; poor, pining, restless — the victims 
of wasting disappointment, bitter regret and keen re- 
morse. The word success cannot be so employed with- 
out emptying it of its natural significance — without 
rendering it unmeaning or delusive. 

Success consists in happily subserving the proper 
ends of our existence. This is obvious and certain. 
These are clearly indicated by the principles on which 
our nature was constructed. They are a definite and 
authoritative expression of the will — the design — the 
object of the Creator. So far as in our aims and acti- 
vity we rise to conformity to these, we accomplish 
something worthy of our powers, responsibilities and 
natural destiny. As creatures, we rise to fellowship 
and cooperation with the Creator. We act upon his 
plans, we prefer his methods, we promote the ends to 
which his heart and his throne are pledged. Thus our 
powers are brought into natural, healthful requisition — 
our resources are happily applied — and the results 
which follow must be equally attractive and substan- 
tial. Thus may we become Men, wise, strong, mag- 
nanimous. Thus may we reflect in our habits and 
history as his children the image of the all-wise, the 
all-good, the ever-blessed Father. Thus, as maintain- 
ing his authority and subserving his designs, may we 
enjoy his smiles and benedictions. And the principles 
to which we thus adjust ourselves are the basis on 
which Faith stands in the exercise of its energies. Suc- 
cess is the Fruit of Faith. 

We regard God as boundlessly blessed. His felicity 
is like his existence, infinite. His being is in itself an 
ocean of enjoyment. How can it be otherwise ? lie 
is Truth, he is Order, he is Justice, he is Beaut}^. He 



493 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



is the soul and substance of whatever may deserve the 
name of Perfection. He is full of the purest, strongest 
Love — as tender as it is enduring. In his aims, me- 
thods, manifestations, he is evermore and fully himself. 
He is most benignantl v paternal — he is most sublimely 
royal ; the absolute King, the absolute Father. How 
can he, then, be otherwise than boundlessly blessed ? 
And he is not only the Soul, he is also the Source of 
fruition. Blessedness radiates from him as its proper 
fountain, overflowing and everlasting. He is not only 
the light and strength, he is also the joy of the uni- 
verse. Vfe may have free access to the enjoyments in 
which his regal soul is refreshed. "We may be blessed 
in and with him. But how ? I answer, by Faith. By 
seizing with a strpng, unyielding grasp, on the princi- 
ples of his government — bringing them home to "our 
business and bosoms" — to the heart of our hearts — to 
everv thing Human within us — to our thoughts, im- 
aginations, affections, active energies — by making them 
the goal of our exertions, the model of our character, 
the basis of our history. Thus may we become our- 
selves, as fashioned in the Divine image — thus may 
we enjoy ourselves as the offspring of the universal 
Father. Thus by Faith may we anticipate the Heaven 
to which Faith will certainly and triumphantly con- 
duct us. With what confidence, with what emphasis, 
with what gratitude may we not anew affirm — "\Ve 
walk by Faith. 

In review of the ground thus occupied, it may well 
be affirmed — 

1. Tliat Faith and Reason are most nearly related, and 
intimately allied, to each other mutually. — Hume, if I am 
right in my recollections and impressions, used some- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



499 



times sneeringlj to hint that the Christian Keligion 
was founded on Faith — not on Eeason. He insinuated 
that the one was alien or opposed to the other. What 
one demanded the other withheld. What one exalted 
the other decried. If the one flourished, the other 
was depressed. The Christian Eeligion made every 
thing of Faith ; of Eeason, nothing. — How could 
Hume occupy any such position otherwise than as a 
skeptic ? Such notions, freely admitted to the brain, 
must drive any reflective mind to universal uncertainty 
and doubt — so far as such a result is possible. 

Not very long ago I heard a popular preacher in a 
tall pulpit in Central New-York declaim on the tri- 
umphant declaration of an Apostle : "I have fought 
the good fight, I have kept the Faith." He attempted 
to enumerate and describe the conflicts to which Faith 
summoned the believer. Among other foes, he was 
sometimes required to contend with Eeason ! I know 
not when I have witnessed the inculcation of a dogma 
more grossly absurd, more flagrantly false, more fatally 
mischievous. And all this certainly and manifestly. 
To contend with Eeason, any where, any how, for any 
purpose, must be to be hotly and pugnaciously UNREA- 
SONABLE. And this, according to the preacher, the 
Gospel sometimes demands of the believer as the 
crowning obligation of his profession ! A triumph 
here is the most illustrious victory which the coolest 
courage and the most determined bravery could 
achieve ! Jesus and his disciples in battle-array against 
Eeason and its principles ! The prophets with Hume 
and Hume among the prophets ! Thus extremes meet. 
Skepticism and Fanaticism are essentially alike — the 



500 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



fires of the one and the frosts of the other have the 
same tendencies and produce like results. 

Reason dissent from Faith and Faith contend with 
Eeason ! An unreasonable Faith ! And a treacherous 
Eeason ! Such dogmas, wherever and however propa- 
gated, as naturally multiply infidels as a putrid carcass 
produces maggots. Such a Faith and such a Reason 
are to be abhorred and discarded. They are alike ab- 
surd and malignant. 

The principles which Reason proclaims are altogether 
essential to the life, the activity, the power of Faith. 
They form the very basis of the character, mission and 
history of Jesus the Saviour. They are the secret of 
his wisdom, benignity and power. They enter, as its 
vital elements, into the scheme of Redemption. The}^ 
are the substance of the precepts, methods and over- 
tures of the Gospel. From them the Saviour derived 
the authority he wielded. His resolute and consistent 
support of their claims led him to the Cross ; and his 
blood became efficaciously expiatory through their in- 
fluence. Thus he became " the Author and Finisher 
of the Faith" of all believers. They become his dis- 
ciples — they believe on his name by giving themselves 
up to the control of these principles. To Truth, Or- 
der, Justice, Beauty, Love, Freedom — the elements 
of his nature and the attributes of his character — 
the r blood of his heart, the breath of his nostrils and 
the strength of his arm, they pay their homage and 
maintain their allegiance. These occupy their thoughts, 
engross their affections, control their energies. They 
are the basis of their character and the foundation of 
their hopes. Thus the livelier and stronger their 
Faith, the more earnest, resolute and grateful their 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



501 



loyalty to Eeason. Thus Faith embraces Keason and 
Eeason supports Faith. The hand which offers to 
separate the one from the other attempts violence to 
the one and the other. To be reasonable in aim, enter- 
prise, activity and expectation is to exercise Faith. 
They resolve themselves mutually into each other. 

Skeptics are apt to speak boastfully of their devotion 
to Eeason. They are thus, as they allege, distin- 
guished from — raised above their fellows, generally. 
They dare to think, to inquire, to reflect freely and 
boldly — are not afraid to look Truth and Nature fully 
in the face. To the doctrines and demands of Natural 
Eeligion they give prompt and earnest heed. You 
have their creed in the principles of Eeason. — If I 
could reach the presence and arrest the attention of one 
who intelligently and sincerely made any such profes- 
sion, I should address him with warm cordiality and 
high hope. The ground he occupied I would make 
the basis of an appeal ; which he could hardly treat 
with contempt or indifference. The life of Jesus, I 
would remind him — his doctrines and his deeds and 
sufferings are preserved in a record, simple, intelligible, 
impressive. I regard the record as historically worthy 
of the fullest confidence. However in this respect you 
may look upon it, there it stands — has stood for many 
ages under its own proper form, bearings and tenden- 
cies : and this, whether you receive it as a narrative of 
facts or an ingenious fiction. The principles of Eeason, 
it is clear and certain, are its substantial, imperishable 
ground-work. They are impressed on every page — 
they shine through every paragraph. In the Hero of 
this book, Eeason was incarnate. In every word and 
deed — in his objects, methods and exertions — through- 



502 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



out the whole compass of his existence, and in all its 
memorable particulars, he maintained its authority in 
asserting his own ; and all this with a magnanimity, 
wisdom and power altogether and grandly regal. He 
rose Heaven-high in this all-vital respect above you 
and me and the best of our fellows. Is he not, then, 
the very soul and substance of Natural Eeligion ? In 
his doctrines and his doings does it not find utterance 
and expression equally clear, full and striking ? "Was 
not his character every way, and of course his claims 
divinely natural — and thus sublimely true and exqui- 
sitely beautiful ? How can you, then, think of deny- 
ing that you have in him a model to which candor and 
consistency — every article of your creed and the entire 
tenor and full stress of your profession require you, 
without hesitation and without reserve to adjust your- 
self ? And this, whether Jesus of the Gospel be a 
splendid fiction or a pregnant fact. A true human 
model we are bound gratefully and reverently to re- 
cognize, whether we regard it as a verity of the Im- 
agination or a verity of History. However introduced, 
it will be approached and appropriated by the sober, 
earnest inquirer as replete with substantial and endur- 
ing worth, to which the liveliest complacency, the 
warmest gratitude and the fullest confidence can be 
scarcely equal. Truly to recognize his worth is to 
render him true worship. It is to believe on his name, 
bow to his authority, subserve his designs. It is 
meekty, lovingly, earnestly to identify ourselves with 
him as the Saviour of mankind. Those who stand 
aloof from his presence and resist his claims are false 
to the principles and precepts of Natural Religion. 
They expose themselves to the guilt and punishment 



SERMONS ASD DISCOURSES. 



508 



of hypocrisy if they dare to commend themselves to 
our respect and confidence as under the guidance and 
control of Eeason. Were they truly, sincerely so, we 
should see them, meek and lowly — at the foot of the 
Cross — consecrated in thought, affection, purpose — 
every way and forever to the service of the Messiah. 

2. Whoever may merely TALK of Faith, he it ours to 
" walk by Faith." — Multitudes are forward enough to 
magnify — lip-wise to magnify the creed to which they 
may subscribe. They are ready to defend it stoutly — ■ 
it may be ingeniously and eloquently. They proclaim 
its high significance, and urge their fellows, as they 
have opportunity, to avail themselves of its healthful 
tendencies. They sometimes " compass sea and land 
to make a proselyte." They are often eager, anxious, 
busy — all astir and full of expectation. They fre- 
quently set whole communities in strong commotion. 
They descant largely and insist vehemently on the 
creed which they embrace. It contains the essence of 
Eeligion. It presents the substance of the Bible. It 
is, as they affirm, when expounded and applied, adapted 
to arouse, excite, convince and save. It awakens 
delicious feelings. It inspires lofty hopes. It raises 
them to ground altogether sublime and celestial. It 
furnishes a basis on which to build churches — to mul- 
tiply and extend striking arrangements and imposing 
enterprises. They talk loudly of their Faith — describ- 
ing in consecrated terms, the different degrees in 
which it is brought into exercise. It is strong or weak ; 
assured or doubtful ; lively or torpid, according to the 
ever- varying frames of which they are conscious. 

In the mean time, in the midst of all this vociferation 



504: 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and excitement and profession and stir, very little of 
sobriety and earnestness and resolution is manifest. 
The relations amidst which, our common Humanity is 
placed, are not studied and recognized. The sacred- 
ness of our daily tasks is not perceived and acknow- 
ledged. The nature we have inherited is not loved 
and reverenced. The fraternal tie which unites the 
Human Family is not welcomed and cherished. A 
genuine and vigorous manliness is not prized and 
sought and acquired. It does not naturally grow out 
of the soil which is occupied and cultivated. Eeligion, 
so-called, may be revived — may flourish — may extend 
its influence on every side without disturbing the gross- 
est absurdities — without interfering with the most 
odious vices — without attempting to repress the boldest 
sallies of dominant wickedness ! Of all this we have 
a comprehensive instance — a pregnant illustration in 
the forbearance and indulgence with which the domi- 
nant Faith — the prevalent Eeligion regards American 
Slavery — American Slavery in its multiplied relations, 
bearings, tendencies and results — as it affects and modi- 
fies and controls every form and institution and arrange- 
ment of society among us. The Eeligion, Politics, 
Economics, social arrangements of the country are 
marked and modified — are touched and colored by 
this "sum of all villainies" — this most absurd, wicked, 
mischievous affair. And those who endure or excuse 
or even defend all this, go on magnifying, extolling 
and commending their Faith, which they dream is 
a-going to save them hereafter, though it leaves them 
here, crushed and helpless, under a monstrous load of 
absurdity and iniquity ! 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 505 

Be it ours "to show our Faith by our works ;" to 
prove that it naturally exerts and manifests itself in 
Fidelity. To the principles which it embraces — from 
which it derives life and strength and beauty, let us 
reverently bow — let us maintain a hearty and steadfast 
allegiance. By their authority, let us be evermore and 
in all things controlled. Let us rejoice in them as the 
pure, overflowing, perennial fountain of wisdom, 
power and blessedness — as the link, strong and bright, 
which binds Heaven and Earth together — the medium 
of intercommunication between the universal Father 
and his scattered children. Let us resolutely and 
gratefully adjust ourselves to their demands throughout 
the entire compass of our never-ceasing, ever-varied 
activity. Let us impress them deeply, indelibly on 
vhatever we may attempt and accomplish. Let us 
welcome them as a medium of intercourse with our 
fellows in all our relations, and wherever and however 
the social within us may find exercise and expression. 
In Letters, in Economy, in Politics let us assert their 
authority, as well in the attitude we m&y assume as in 
the words we may utter. Let us see to it ; most solicit- 
ously and decisively let us see to it, that they live in 
our life, mingling in the very fountain of our existence, 
animating, strengthening, cheering, refreshing us — ele- 
vating our thoughts, enriching our affections, quicken- 
ing our consciences, purifying our imaginations, sus- 
taining our active energies — let us see to it that we are 
at once and forever, in purpose, exertion, expectation 
wholly under their guidance and control. Thus shall 
we find within ourselves and proclaim to others that 
they exert an influence as healthful as it is powerful ; 
22 



506 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



that they raise us to a delightful harmony with the 
objects and relations around us and above us, with 
which we may be connected — that they bring us into 
the enjoyment of our birth-right as a present possession 
and a future, everlasting inheritance. Oh ! let us 
" walk by Faith," that with a strong, steady and cer- 
tain step, we may reach the goal of our existence I 



THE L IAR. 



11 Who is a Liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ f — 
1 John 2 : 22. 

The demand here urged upon us is equally homely, 
pointed and startling. The Apostle did not wait in 
doubt till an answer was returned. Not he. He em- 
ployed, for the sake of emphasis and impression, an 
interrogative phrase, clearly and decisively of affirma- 
tive significance. Who the Liar of all liars was, he 
knew well enough ; and in the question he puts, intro- 
duces the ugly and revolting figure to our indignation 
and abhorrence. He stands before us the head and re- 
presentative of the comprehensive class he belongs to — 
head and shoulders above his fellows. Whatever 
might be said to soften or excuse any deviation from 
the truth they might have ventured into ; the falsehood 
he must answer for, was so gross, flagrant and malig- 
nant as to forbid any attempt at defense or apology. 
He had denied " that Jesus was the Christ' 7 ! 

It is Jesus of Nazaketh into whose presence we 
are here conducted. Of all the names repeated in hu- 
man history, his is most remarkable for significance 
and grandeur. So affirm the deepest thinkers and the 
widest observers. This is admitted by figures of high 
eminence in the ranks of infidelity. They know not 
how to deny word- wise, whatever deed-wise they may 
dare, that in structure and in history — in word and in 
deed — in heroic achievement and magnanimous suffer- 
ing — in wisdom, benignity and power, he rose immea- 



508 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



surably superior to any other son of Adam. In every 
thing truly and thoroughly Human, he towered Hea- 
ven-high above the wisest, the strongest and the best 
of his brethren. 

How, then, if guided by truth and nature, must they 
regard him ? As, under the same guidance, they must 
regard every thing to which they might gain access — 
characteristically ; it must lie among their thoughts and 
doings as it lies in the stuff it is made of and the rela- 
tions it sustains. Now, we naturally look up to what 
may be above us. We cannot otherwise treat it truth- 
fully. It is superior to us ; and should occupy higher 
ground than we in our thoughts and affections. For 
this it has intrinsic claims upon us which we are bound 
cheerfully and fully to admit. In the presence of any 
name which is superior to my own in wisdom, power 
and goodness, I wrong both him and myself if I re- 
fuse to take the attitude of an inferior. He is entitled 
to my homage, which I can render only by availing 
myself of the guidance, encouragement and protection 
which his presence involves and brings within my 
reach. Thus may he and I honor, each in his place, 
the mutual relations which bind us together. Thus 
may we find, he and I, each in his sphere, healthful 
exercise for the powers we respectively w r ield — a happy 
use for the resources committed to our hands. Thus 
may we mutually assist each other in reaching the goal 
which every child of Adam ought to hold steadily in 
his eye and to keep uppermost on his heart. — The doc- 
trine thus taught, consistency and decency require us 
to apply in full force to the Man of Nazareth amidst 
his relations to the Human Family. In the elements 
of his nature and the attributes of his character — in 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



509 



solid and enduring excellence — in enterprise, activity 
and fidelity — in well-advised, heroic, unwearied efforts 
to promote the general welfare, he stands on the loftiest 
summit of Humanity — decisively, beautifully, grandly 
at the head of mankind. All this it is easy to see and 
fit to affirm. The fundamental Laws of our nature 
require us to treat him accordingly — to give him that 
place in our esteem to which his intrinsic, character- 
istic merits fairly entitle him. Less than this, how can 
we offer or he accept ? But in this very ivay we acknoiv- 
ledge his Messiahship. 

We have at all times within our reach a record con- 
taining fragments of the history and sketches of the 
discourses of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a most remark- 
able document. It has been read with wakeful atten- 
tion and deep thought — nay, earnestly, studiously, un- 
weariedly by thousands upon thousands with every 
variety of cultivation and in every variety of condi- 
tion. The character, the course, the fortunes of its 
Subject all affirm, promptly and emphatically, are in 
the highest degree extraordinary. He has no parallel 
in human history. He stands grandly apart — sublimely 
alone. He is every way intensely human. As such, 
his claims to our regard are peculiarly clear and singu- 
larly powerful. 

1. Such a character and such a history ) even if regarded 
as THE WORK OF THE IMAGINATION, furnish ample 
ground on which the improvement and welfare of mankind 
might well he attempted. — The record in which the his- 
tory is given, and the character presented, is essentially 
true. It is so clearly and certainly. It is founded on 
— it is built up with the vital elements of Human Na- 
ture. The stuff it was made of was manifestly derived 



510 



SERMONS AZSTD DISCOURSES. 



from this source. It was formed and fashioned on the 
model which is here furnished. Every thing in speech, 
achievement and condition which the record ascribes 
to Jesus, is just what our Nature demands and exults 
in. All the manifestations of himself, which it is 
affirmed he made, are true to — are illustrative of, the 
constructive principles of our existence. His career, 
from the beginning to the end, was impressively in 
harmony with the organic Laws of our Humanity. 
Every word and every deed were a direct and inspir- 
ing response to the demands which are thus authoritat- 
ively brought home to our 11 business and bosoms." 
All this is confirmed by every page and paragraph of 
his great history. At home with his Parents or in the 
temple with the " Doctors" — wielding the broad-axe 
or interpreting the Law — addressing the multitude in 
public or resisting the tempter in private — healing the 
sick, encouraging the timid or rebuking the proud — 
now greeted with applause and now assailed with re- 
proach — whether reverenced as a king or spurned and 
murdered as an outlaw — in whatever condition he was 
found, and however he was treated, he was evermore, 
in all respects, fully and consistently himself — wholly 
and grandly loyal — just what his relations to God on 
the one hand, and to mankind on the other, required 
him to be. No temptation diverted his feet from the 
milky-way of Duty. No assault, however cunningly 
planned or vigorously executed, threw him from his 
balance. He could, with equal confidence and modesty, 
look the world in the face and demand : " Which of 
you convinceth me of sin ?" Now, such a character, 
illustrated by such a history, is intrinsically, substan- 
tially, everlastingly true ; whether presented by the 



SEKMOXS AND DISCOURSES. 



511 



imagination or derived from the memory. Its elements 
are Ideas, Principles, Laws, which are the substance 
and the life of whatever " lives and moves and has a 
being." Here is truth far above veracity — the very 
basis and soul of veracity in its most significant and 
enduring forms. It is truth, however manifested and 
expressed ; so truly, so deeply, so absolutely truth as to re- 
main unaffected by the modes and 'mediums through which 
it may find utterance. 

The Laws of our existence, however expressed — 
through whatever medium promulgated, are intrin- 
sically and essentially authoritative. They are a mea- 
sure of the powers we naturally wield, and a descrip- 
tion of the objects we are bound to pursue. They 
contain in themselves, and offer to us, counsel and en- 
couragement. They are adapted to our natural rela- 
tions. They preside for each of us over his proper 
field of activity. Now, if they are fairly, clearly, im- 
pressively described in a work of the imagination, that 
work must be for us true, valid, authoritative, because, 
though a work of the imagination, it gives utterance 
to the constructive Principles of our nature. And to 
these we are bound, at all times and every where, to 
adjust ourselves. To refuse to do this must be to fall 
foul, suicidally, of ourselves. And these Principles or 
Laws, whether embodied in u flesh and blood" or re- 
corded with ink and paper, are equally Laws ; to be 
earnestly studied and reverently obeyed. If it could, 
as it cannot, be proved, that Matthew, Mark, Luke and 
John were dealing in romance in the pages bearing 
their names, which they devote to the history of Jesus, 
their paragraphs would still be all-luminous with wis- 
dom — all-glowing with benevolence — full of weight 



512 



SERM0X3 AND DISCOURSES. 



and worth for every member of the Human Family. 
They describe, clearly and beautifully, the aims, me- 
thods, exertions which his nature demands of every 
child of Adam. Even on this supposition we have 
through them the elements of a character — the de- 
scription of a mission — a record of doctrines well 
worthy of the Messiah ; and therefore entitled to 
prompt attention, earnest study ; and to a full and 
faithful application to all our affairs. Thus regarded, 
we could not fail, in the light they shed along our 
pathway, to reach the true goal. 

2. Just such an Appearance as the history of Jesus pre- 
sents, is demanded by the Principles of the Divine Govern- 
ment — by the Laics of the Universe ; and is, therefore, in 
the highest degree xatural. — The Principles of the 
Divine Government are full of vitality and power. 
The Laws of the Universe are instinct with authority. 
With a stern benignity they utter demands. They 
send home their requisitions to the very heart of what- 
ever active energies they may address. They have a 
sovereign claim, universally urged, to all powers and 
resources, wherever they may be found, and with 
whomsoever they may be lodged. They address them- 
selves to every man, requiring him to be at once, fully 
and forever, true to his own nature, pf which they 
themselves are the sum and the substance — to be every 
way, and in the highest degree, w r orthy of the name he 
bears and the relations he sustains. All this they have 
urged on every name of every generation from Adam 
down to the infant which only an hour ago opened its 
eyes on sunlight. Often and ruthlessly has their au- 
thority been trifled with and their claims resisted ; as 
human history, with mournful emphasis, testifies. But 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 513 

they go on to repeat their claims — to assert their de- 
mands with undiminished authority as often as a new 
name is added to the catalogue of " living souls." They 
are in harmony with the fitness of things — with the 
everlasting proprieties — with the methods and designs 
of all-germinative, all -productive Nature. Their re- 
quisitions are altogether fit, decent, natural. Surely it 
is natural that Ideas should be realized, Principles ap- 
plied to practice, Laws obeyed. Nothing can be more 
so. All else, however common it may be — whatever 
may be in opposition — however it may run through 
the web of history, is obviously and glaringly unna- 
tural. Its prevalence among us may prevent surprise ; 
but cannot make it at all less — really makes it much 
more monstrous and revolting. — That the sagacious 
should overreach the simple — that the strong should 
crush the weak — that the rich should defraud the poor 
— that the old should mislead the young — that the 
ruler should oppress the subject — surely all this, under 
every form and aspect, is flagrantly against the ordi- 
nances and tendencies of the nature we have inherited. 
We bear the name of Men ; how can we be unmanly ? 
In distinction from all other creatures which with us 
find a home on this planet, we can appropriate the 
light — can follow the guidance of Reason ; how can 
we violate its Laws and spurn its counsels ? The 
fraternal tie binds us to the Human Family — our heart- 
strings are intimately and indissolubly interwoven with 
the heart-strings of every child of Adam ; how can we 
hinder his improvement and trample on his welfare ? 
We rise or fall with our brethren — our fortunes are 
identified with theirs ; how can we invade their rights 
— how resist the demands which they fairly urge upon 
22* 



514 



SERM0XS AND DISCOURSES. 



us ? The influences we may exert upon them, always 
reach ourselves with increased power. The echo of 
every ill-spoken word with which we may assail others, 
never fails to pierce and lacerate our own ears. The 
injurious blow with which we may wound a brother, 
is sure to rebound upon ourselves with terrible effect 
And to be unfilial in our relations to the Source of our 
existence is to forfeit the rich and various benefits 
which paternal love involves and presents. How ex- 
ceedingly unnatural, then, is absurdity and crime — 
folly and wickedness in every instance and in even- 
degree ! How intrinsically and stubbornly improbable 
must be the history of the Unreasonable, the Unprin- 
cipled, the Profligate ! We seem to be far away in 
the land of frightful dreams when we hear of the 
names and the attempts of Atheists and Misanthropes. 
"Whatever bad men, therefore, perpetrate in the house 
or on the highway — in the cabinet or in the field — 
publicly or privately — we all comprehensively describe 
as rNHUMAN — as in conflict with the characteristic 
Principles and distinctive Tendencies of our common 
Humanity. We could not believe that creatures like 
Judas could exist, if we were not forced to the strang- 
ling admission by FACTS equally stubborn and obtrus- 
ive. And these, however clear, certain and multiplied 
they may be, are utterly inexplicable — as every thing 
must be which is at war with the principles of our 
existence. 

Far otherwise is the history of Jesus. Here every 
thing is natural, fit, becoming — in full harmony with 
the elements and tendencies which characterize the na- 
ture by which we are distinguished. Here is wisdom, 
manifesting itself as wisdom ; power honoring the re- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



515 



sponsibilities of power ; love breathing the spirit of 
love. Here is a Man every way manful — a great Man, 
grandly human. Here are energies, endowments, ad- 
vantages, every way most extraordinary, brought fully 
and constantly into healthful, happy requisition. Here 
is a Man, who was always and every where Himself — 
who said nothing, did nothing, enjoyed nothing which 
did not fully become him — which was not appropriate 
to his position and relations. In his aims, hopes and 
aspirations — in his plans, methods and exertions, he 
was exactly and intensely true to the everlasting Pro- 
prieties — to immutable Eectitude. In him our nature 
culminated — rose to the highest pitch of worth, beauty 
and dignity. He was just what the Laws of the Creator 
required him to be. He adjusted himself as a man to 
what is essential, vital, universal in mankind. He was 
a tongue to the dumb, eyes to the blind, feet to the 
lame. He strengthened the weak, cheered the despond- 
ing, succored the tempted. He threw himself gener- 
ously between the oppressor and his victim ; and gave 
the most beautiful expression to the most comprehens- 
ive philanthropy. The prerogatives of God and the 
rights of man he vindicated with a divine eloquence 
and a resistless power. He was intensely and grandly 
HUMAN. Such a history is as credible as it is natural 
We may well believe the facts it presents, as they are 
in accordance with the established Laws, the settled 
arrangements, the all powerful tendencies of the Divine 
Government. 

3. The historical records, in which the advent, the ob- 
jects, the career — the words, the deeds and the sufferings of 
Jesus are recorded, are worthy of the fullest confidence. — 
Sketches of his life and doctrines — some account of his 



516 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



discourses and his achievements, are placed within our 
reach. With these we have been more or less familiar 
from our childhood. Among the names which were 
early impressed upon our memories, those of Matthew, 
Mark, Luke and John are prominent. They put down 
as his biographers the advent and the relations — the 
aims, methods and activity of Jesus — the lessons he 
taught, the deeds he performed, the sufferings he en- 
dured for the Human Family ; all this they wrote 
down for the benefit of all succeeding generations. They 
were evidently familiar with the subject on which they 
address us. Some of them, as his disciples, were mem- 
bers of his Family. One of them was his bosom 
friend. — Xow, the record which they made and trans- 
mitted to us is in full harmony with the character and 
office beneath which he is commended to our confidence 
and veneration. As the Model-Man — the Head of the 
Human Family — the true Messiah, he might well be 
expected to make just such an appearance — to pursue 
just such objects — to adopt just such a plan of exer- 
tion — to cherish just such aspirations — to teach just 
such doctrines — to diffuse around him just such benefits 
— and to expose himself to just such trials and suffer- 
ings with just such results as our Evangelists ascribe to 
him. Their paragraphs were every way appropriate, 
fit, natural. They are happily adapted to the age in 
which we are assured that Jesus made his appearance ; 
to the mission which he undertook ; to the circum- 
stances in which he was placed ; to the powers and 
resources he was intrusted with ; to his various rela- 
tions and characteristic prospects — they are every way, 
and in a high degree, Messianic : this, in the general 
outline of their narrative, and this in the particulars 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



517 



with which it is filled up and completed. These Evan- 
gelists, in every way — in word, speech and behavior, 
appear veracious and trustworthy. So simple, so can- 
did, so earnest, why should we — how can we doubt 
their word ? They look like honest men, they speak 
like honest men — their whole deportment savors of 
honesty. Why should we not give them our confi- 
dence ? 

The work with which he had been occupied, his dis- 
ciples, after his decease, vigorously prosecuted ; in 
every age, down to the present hour, they have, as the 
chief end of their existence, studied his example, as- 
serted his authority and promoted his designs. — He 
was intent on introducing and maintaining "the king- 
dom of Heaven" in the midst of the relations and ac- 
tivities of mankind. To this, from the manger to the 
Cross, he devoted thought and effort — arm and soul — 
his powers and his resources as the grand object of his 
mission. He would persuade all to whom he had 
access, to recognize and honor the relations which 
bound them to the Eternal Throne — to give themselves 
up meekly and gratefully to the guidance and control 
of the heavenly Wisdom — to conform themselves to 
the Divine Will — to exert themselves according to the 
principles, absolute, universal, immutable, which vital- 
ize and uphold and bless the Universe — to cherish and 
maintain in all things, at all times and by all means 
their loyalty to the Majesty which gave them breath 
and being. Thus, led by his hand, might they reach 
the presence, avail themselves of the perfections, enjoy 
the smiles of their heavenly Father. In pursuing an 
object so significant and sublime, he tasked his powers 
to the uttermost — brought all his energies and resources 



518 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



into full and constant requisition. For this, he taught 
lesson upon lesson of heavenly wisdom ; for this, he 
welcomed muscular toil and homely fare ; for this, he 
bore heavy burdens and bitter reproaches ; for this, he 
gave himself up to a life of labor and a death of vio- 
lence. All this he did and suffered to secure for man- 
kind the substantial and imperishable benefits which 
the sovereignty of God imperatively urges on our 
acceptance. 

John, Peter, Paul and their Fellows employed as 
His Apostles the same methods in promoting the same 
general objects. The lessons he had taught they rev- 
erently repeated. They tasked mind and muscle in 
his service. They labored strenuously and suffered 
grievously in their efforts to reduce their fellow-men to 
obedience to the divine commands, and conformity to 
the divine arrangements. They did not shrink from 
fearful exposures and deadly inflictions in prosecuting 
the work which, as the successors of Jesus, was com- 
mitted to their hands. 

The Apostles had their successors, who, from age to 
age, up to the present hour, have devoted themselves 
unreservedly to the designs with which the affections 
and the energies of Jesus were occupied. They pro- 
claim as he proclaimed, " the Kingdom of Heaven." 
This, with them as with him, is the object for which 
they live and in which they rejoice. They affirm, on 
his authority, that whatever belongs to us — whatever 
affects us — every thing Human in our being, relations 
and destiny, lies clearly and fully within his jurisdic- 
tion — that in our aims, methods and exertions, we are 
to avail ourselves of his guidance, and put ourselves 
under his protection, and subserve his designs ; that 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



519 



whether occupied with business or intent on amuse- 
ment — in the market and at the ballot-box — in the 
solitude of the closet, amidst the endearments of the 
family and surrounded by the multitude — amidst pub- 
lic shows and arrangements, we are most earnestly and 
gratefully to bow to his sceptre and execute his com- 
mands ; and this during all the days of the year, and 
all the hours of the day, and all the moments of the 
hour. Thus doth Jesus continue his living presence 
among us ; thus, through his successors, he " becomes 
flesh" in every new generation. We behold his face, 
we hear his voice ; the lessons of wisdom which he in- 
culcated are repeated for our benefit, and the overtures 
of mercy which he made are renewed to encourage 
and quicken us in the heavenly pathway. 

Moreover, institutions and arrangements exist among 
us which avowedly had their origin in Him. — From 
generation to generation the Christian Church has 
made a figure sometimes more imposing and sometimes 
less so — but always significant and striking among the 
relations and activities of mankind. This bears his 
name, teaches his doctrines and subserves his designs. 
It is made up of those who listen to his voice and bow 
to his authority. The constitution on which it was 
founded was derived — so its members unanimously 
assure us, was derived from him. It is the product of 
his wisdom and philanthropy. It is a living monu- 
ment, erected by his hands, and continued, vital and 
vigorous, through generation after generation, on which 
is preserved a record of his designs and achievements 
and suffering's. 

To this society access is gained through an ordinance 
in which his Name, as its head and founder, is most 



520 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



reverently repeated. And this according to the testi- 
mony of History, in all ages of the Christian era and 
by his authority. 

Moreover, in the Christian Church, an ordinance has 
all along been observed, and is still observed, to keep 
the remembrance of the Saviour's vicarious labors and 
redemptive sufferings fresh and lively in the conscious- 
ness of his followers. This ordinance, the Christian 
records assure us, he himself instituted and enjoined. 
Its observance is a well-established fact in Christian 
history — confirmed by the practice of the sects gener- 
ally, in all places and ages. In the celebration of this 
ordinance, we are solemnly assured, that it originated 
in Jesus himself ; and that he enjoined it as an im- 
pressive and permanent feature of the community 
which he had founded. 

We have, moreover, testimony, direct and various, 
from different quarters, confirming the conclusions 
which this discourse commends. — One class of witnesses 
cordially and reverently admitted the claims of Jesus 
as the Messiah. They availed themselves of his office, 
devoted themselves to his service, and expected the 
most substantial benefits, here and hereafter, through 
his intervention. His temper and habits — his dis- 
courses and achievements — his labors and sufferings — 
his life and his death, they described in well-known 
records, preserved for the study of generation after 
generation. The position he claimed ; the authority 
he asserted ; the homage he demanded, are here clearly 
and impressively illustrated. The facts which are 
stated are a confirmation, full and fit, of the principles 
which are affirmed, and of the doctrines which are in- 
culcated. His discourses and his achievements — his 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



521 



gigantic labors and heroic sufferings, as described by 
them, present him to our regard as the Messiah — as 
all-worthy of the warmest love, the strongest confi- 
dence, the most profound veneration. The ability, the 
integrity, the pertinency of these witnesses is obvious 
and striking. In their testimony, one thing is in happy 
keeping with another — every thing is in its proper 
place and amidst its natural relations. Why should 
they not be believed ? 

Another class of witnesses stood aloof from his pre- 
sence — refused to avail themselves of the benefits he 
offered. Some of these were eminent in the sphere of 
letters. In one connection and another — for one pur- 
pose or another, they refer to his history. Sometimes 
in terms more general, and sometimes in terms more 
specific, they advert to the deeds he performed — to the 
doctrines he inculcated — to his exposures and suffer- 
ings. Their representations become at once intelligible 
and significant when studied in the light which Christ- 
ian documents afford. They mutually illustrate and 
confirm each other. United, they furnish ground, 
clear, certain, strong, on which the facts of the Mes- 
siah's history may be most confidently affirmed. 

Socrates, Caesar, Cicero, are names with which almost 
every body is familiar. The genius by which they 
were respectively distinguished — the positions which 
they respectively held — the influence which they re- 
spectively exerted, history is generally supposed vera- 
ciously and trustworthily to represent. Is obody has 
any doubt that Socrates was an eminent philosopher, 
Caesar a great captain, and Cicero a commanding orator. 
We feel as fully assured of all this as of the existence 
of London. Alfred, Shakspeare, Bacon ; with these 



522 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



we are almost as conversant as with the names which 
figure in our Family Eegisters. We should as soon 
doubt the existence of our next-door neighbors as call 
in question the achievements which history ascribes to 
these distinguished Englishmen. Yet we have far 
more decisive and various proof of whatever belonged 
to the Messiahship of Jesus than we have that Socra- 
tes argued, or Ccesar fought, or Cicero persuaded. We 
better know that Jesus " did many mighty works," 
" spake as never man spake," and on theCross, " bowed 
his head and gave up the ghost," than that Alfred 
swayed a sceptre, or Shakspeare composed a play, or 
Bacon employed his powers in high speculation. We 
have, in supporting the claims of Jesus, the clearest 
records, the most solemn sacraments, and a line of wit- 
nesses altogether worthy of the confidence they solicit, 
stretching from the Manger and the Cross down to our 
own firesides. 

He, then, is gratuitously a " liar" who denies that 
"Jesus is the Christ." His history is grandly natural 
— sublimely reasonable. The Laws which are wrought 
into our existence, under whose authority we are 
placed — the Tendencies of Things which touch us 
vitally and mould our destiny, clearly and certainly 
demand just such an appearance as the incarnation and 
personality of Jesus present. Nature welcomes him 
as her eldest Son. Eeason rejoices over him as the 
brightest, strongest, best manifestation of the Ideas and 
Principles which in Eeason find their soul and sub- 
stance and origin. His advent, his achievements, his 
sufferings are manifestly according to the fitness of 
things — the everlasting proprieties. The Law finds in 
him its natural end — its proper fulfillment. "The 



SERMONS AST) DISCOURSES. 



523 



whole creation groaned and travailed in pain" for just 
such a birth. "Without his history, all other history 
must have been comparatively unintelligible or insig- 
nificant. That he should appear as the head of the 
Human Family, was the most comprehensive and com- 
manding of all probabilities. 

And then the Law of Evidence by which, in other 
matters, we are controlled, imperiously requires us to 
recognize his presence and welcome his claims. The 
proofs which are urged on our attention and respect 
are pertinent, various, weighty in the highest degree. 
No inquirer, at all characterized by earnestness, so- 
briety and candor, could for a moment or in any mea- 
sure resist their force. He would yield at once and 
forever to their healthful, grateful demands. To deny 
in the face and eyes of the most decisive original pro- 
babilities, supported and confirmed by the strongest 
historical evidence, that " Jesus is the Christ," is most 
gratuitously to stand forth "a liar." 

He is, moreover, comprehensively " a liar." The 
truth he rejects, is of a most generic and germinative 
character. It is so in its elements, bearings, tendencies 
and influences. The principles of the Divine Govern- 
ment, and the attributes of the Divine character, are 
the basis and substance and beauty of the Messiah's 
history. They shine forth there in a light equally 
clear, searching and satisfactory. Whatever may af- 
fect our condition and prospects — our duties, privileges, 
destiny — whatever may be essential to the development 
of our powers; to the honoring of our relations; to 
the enjoyment of our comprehensive and far-reaching 
birthright, is there set forth fully, definitely, impress- 
ively. The aims, methods and exertions — the hopes, 



524 



SERMOXS AXD DISCOURSES. 



aspirations and encouragements, which may be adapted 
to our nature and suited to our condition, are there 
clearly represented and strikingly illustrated. Our 
rights and duties — our responsibilities and preroga- 
tives — the present and the future — whatever may be- 
long to the ground we now occupy, and to the sphere 
to which we are hastening, are there distinctly ad- 
verted to, earnestly insisted on, happily disposed of. 
"Whatever may be adapted to enlighten and nourish 
and invigorate and inspire is brought within our reach, 
and urged on our acceptance in the Messiahship of Je- 
sus of ISTazareth. To deny his name and resist his 
authority and spurn his magnanimity, is to make our- 
selves guilty of a most comprehensive and far-reaching 
falsehood. He who takes such an attitude, must be a 
gigantic "liar." 

The "lie," moreover, of which he is guilty, is marked 
by singular malignity — is most murderous in its ten- 
dencies and effects. The character, the office, the 
claims, the influence of Jesus as the Messiah, touch 
the Human Family most vitally. Whatever may be 
requisite to their improvement and welfare, to elevate 
their present condition and brighten their future pros- 
pects, is involved in his mission. In adjusting our- 
selves to his demands — in availing ourselves of his 
guidance and protection — in submitting to his author- 
ity and subserving his designs, we may acquire self- 
possession — the happy use of our powers ; may rise to 
our natural position ; may apjoropriate and enjoy the 
rich and imperishable benefits which belong to our 
birthright. Under the guidance, training and control 
of 11 the Son of Man," we may rise to the stature, may 
wield the powers, may enjoy the privileges of Mex. 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



525 



And not otherwise. To "deny that lie is the Messiah" 
— that the elements of such a nature, the attributes of 
such a character, the achievements of such a career 
entitle Him to our love, confidence and veneration — 
entitle him to unlimited and unquestioned sovereignty 
throughout the entire sphere of our common Human- 
ity, must be to throw every thing within our reach 
into deep disorder and wild confusion. It must be to 
abjure and reject the guidance of Wisdom, the protec- 
tion of Power, the smiles of Benignity. It must be 
to rush wantonly, recklessly, ruthlessly, upon all the 
horrors of universal outlawry. It must be to expose 
ourselves, helpless and unprotected, to all harsh influ- 
ences and all crushing forces ; to such insults and out- 
rages as must be expected wherever violence taking 
counsel of cunning, or cunning armed with violence, 
may bear sway. It must be to contract the guilt and 
incur the inflictions due to him who, having attempted 
to murder his fellow, falls foul of himself. Of such a 
" lie," who shall measure the malignity ? 

We deny that Jesus is the Messiah, whenever and 
however we refuse amidst the relations and insti- 
tutions established for our benefit, to maintain our 
allegiance to his throne. His jurisdiction is absolute, 
exclusive, universal. Whatever belongs to Human 
Nature, near or remote, under whatever form, name 
or bearing, is subject to his control — is to be disposed 
of in full subserviency to his requisitions and designs. 
We are every where and at all times, in all our inten- 
tions and endeavors, to act as his "good and faithful 
servants." In letters, in business, in politics — at home 
and abroad — by night and by day, we are to take 
counsel of his wisdom, seek protection in his power, 



526 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



and to expect self-possession, repose, encouragement in 
his smiles. The moment we refuse to venerate his 
name and bow to his authority, in any sphere of inter- 
est and exertion, we deny that 1 1 he is the Christ." His 
office is essentially universal. This is vital to its very 
existence. It cannot be renounced at one point and 
maintained at another — cannot be rejected in its appli- 
cation to one relation and welcomed in its application 
to any other. He cannot for us preside over the 
sphere ecclesiastic, while in politics or commerce we 
refuse to bow to his majesty. He must be our guide, 
protector, sovereign, every where or no where. We may 
affect to set him on the throne in the sphere ecclesias- 
tical, while at the ballot-box, forgetful of his presence, we 
give our countenance to designs and methods which are 
in conflict with the principles of his government — while 
we there encourage or endure selfishness and arrogance, 
avarice and ambition — while we there assist in raising 
the unjust, the impious, the misanthropic to positions 
of responsibility and honor. But in whatever reveries 
we may indulge, and of whatever dreams we may 
boast, we identify ourselves with " the liars" who deny 
his Messiahship. We do this, involving ourselves in 
the comprehensive, complicated and far-reaching wick- 
edness, implied and involved, if we refuse to bow to 
his sceptre, wherever we may go and whatever we 
may attempt and endure. 

Almost every where in the sphere of the prevalent re- 
ligion, we may find those who in their creeds and talk 
affirm with hot zeal and loud voices, that Jesus is the 
Messiah. They bid us go down upon our knees in his 
presence, and worship him as worthy of the highest 
homage and the deepest veneration. In what they 



SEKMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



527 



call our religions relations, we are to render him all 
adoration — to sing to his name with all warmth and 
emphasis the loftiest doxologies. If we refuse or hesi- 
tate to adopt their modes or repeat their words, they 
promptly, eagerly point at us the finger of suspicion. 
Our allegiance to his majesty, they call in question, 
flippantly and confidently. They accuse us of putting 
forth a rash hand to pluck the crown from his head. 
We attempt, they allege, to rob him of the divine 
honors to which he is entitled. We must call him 
Lord ! Lord ! in their way — in such religious services 
as they may countenance and commend, or submit to 
loud denunciation. — But what do they demand word- 
wise and example-wise in the sphere of political activ- 
ity ? If we unite with them in the aims and methods 
they here prefer, how shall we here treat the claims of 
the Messiah? In their political relations they refuse to 
submit to his authority. To do so here, they declare, is 
visionary, impracticable, mischievous! They adjust 
themselves without hesitation or scruple to the plat- 
form of the party with which they have identified 
themselves, though it is built on dogmas and marked 
by features which are wholly and flagrantly inconsist- 
ent with the objects of his mission. They give their 
support with all alacrity and with all confidence, to 
candidates for office who trample his crown beneath 
their feet — whose whole character and history stand 
over in pointed opposition to his designs and methods. 
And when we offer to reprove them for identifying 
themselves with his enemies, they try to stop our 
mouths by telling us that Eeligion has nothing to do 
with Politics ! Jesus of Nazareth, according to their 
wild words, is of divine authority in the sphere eccle- 



528 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



siastic. He may preside over the Pulpit, the Commu- 
nion-Table, the Praying-Circle, the Sabbath-School — 
always provided, he carefully keeps his place ; confines 
his authority to holy days and holy places ; refuses to 
expose his seamless garment to the dust of the Market, 
the Exchange or the area of Election-strife. If he 
attempts to extend his jurisdiction beyond the limits 
of the religious sphere, he ventures beyond his depth, 
and his claims on our homage may there be ignored or 
resisted ! Thus his sovereignty is limited — confined 
within boundaries pitiably narrow ; and he of course 
thrust from the throne of the Messiah down to a place 
among the putrifying rubbish of idolatry ! Thus it is 
denied stoutly and recklessly, that Jesus is the Christ ! 
Thus multitudes plunge headlong into the absurdity 
and malignity of a most blasphemous and damning 
falsehood. 

Let us beware ! To Jesus of Nazareth we all sus- 
tain relations as significant as they are natural. His 
claims upon us are alike comprehensive and impera- 
tive. We are vitally and permanently affected by the 
position, whatever it may be, which we may assume in 
his presence. He is the natural medium through which 
those benefits are to be derived which are all essential 
to our welfare. In him, if our eyes are open and our 
hearts loyal, we shall recognize our guide and pro- 
tector — the king under whose conduct we may ascend 
to an inheritance equally substantial and imperishable. 
Let us beware ! We may resist his claims. We may 
refuse to recognize his majesty. His authority we 
may treat with stupid indifference or fatal levity. We 
may refuse to assume a becoming attitude amidst the 
principles he has proclaimed, and the arrangements he 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 529 

has introduced. Whatever words may be on our lips, 
our deeds may be in conflict with his demands. We 
may thus carelessly or rashly deny his Messiah ship. 
The absurdity and wickedness of a most wanton, com- 
prehensive falsehood, we may thus incur. Our cha- 
racter, our condition, our prospects, we may thus ex- 
pose to every influence which can blight and blacken. 
Let us beware ! We are in danger of parting with our 
birthright for a wretched trifle. The temptations 
which assail us, are many and formidable. The whole 
frame- work of society, with its institutions and designs, 
its arrangements and usages, the shows of the Present 
and the history of the Past, are hostile to loyalty. The 
general sentiment, in every sphere of thought and ex- 
ertion, is infected with infidelity. We are in danger 
of being carried down the rapids. The jaws of de- 
struction are open before us. Let us beware! 1 'He 
that belie veth on the Son, hath life ; and he that be- 
lieveth not, shall not see life, but the wrath of God 
abide th on him." 

23 



REDEMPTION. 



* And the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." — 
" And without shedding of blood there is no remission." — " And to 
give his life a ranson for many." — u Who now rejoice in my suffer- 
ings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of 
Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the Church." — 
1 John 1:7; Heb. 9 : 22 ; Matt. 20 : 28 ; Col. 1 : 24. 

These passages pointedly and emphatically insist 
upon the vicarious efficacy of the Saviour's sufferings, 
a theme with which the Writers of the New Testament 
are earnestly, tenderly, gratefully familiar. It occu- 
pies, under various constructions, not always consistent 
with each other, a very prominent place in modern the- 
ology. The bold and startling figures which are here 
frequently employed, demand in the study and appli- 
cation of them great candor and marked sobriety. I 
may, as a specimen, quote a stanza which, in self-ap- 
plication, has often been repeated in the gravest cir- 
cumstances, and with strong emotion : 

11 There is a fountain filled with blood, 
Drawn from Immanuel's veins, 
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, 
Lose all their guilty stains." 

Under a just construction, all this may be affirmed 
with grateful emphasis. To make this clear and cer- 
tain, is the design of this discourse. But it will hardly 
be denied, that any such representation, for whatever 
purpose and in whatever connection it may be made, 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



531 



may be misinterpreted and misapplied. The way may 
thus be opened for rash conclusions and hurtful errors. 
The comprehensive and sinewy declaration of the Poet 
may be taken all too literally. To the vital fluid which 
flowed in the Saviour's veins, a hallowed influence and 
a cleansing efficacy may be ascribed. It may be reve- 
renced and confided in, as something other, higher, 
better than human blood — as involving in itself as ma- 
terial a propitiatory, atoning power. Whoever may 
admit any such impression, puts himself into a most 
unnatural posture ; and can hardly avail himself of the 
priceless benefits of the Saviour's mission. 

The sins of mankind may be — have sometimes been 
— represented as debts, which they had contracted. 
In addressing the true Father, our Saviour has taught 
us to say: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our 
Debtors." These, it is affirmed, we owe to unbending 
Justice. They must sooner or later, in one way or in 
another, be paid — fully paid. Wherever guilt may 
have been incurred, there suffering must be endured. 
In honoring this arrangement, the Saviour, in be- 
half of Mankind, submitted to crucifixion. He thus 
paid for us the debt which we had wantonly and rashly 
contracted. His labors and sufferings may be thus 
presented and illustrated ; provided always we proceed 
in the light which a just exposition of the matter af- 
fords. If, however, it should be forgotten that the 
term debt is here introduced figuratively, we may be 
led to conclusions which must be pronounced awry 
and hurtful — utterly subversive of the designs of the 
Saviour's mission. It may be affirmed, that no cre- 
ditor can require the payment of a debt which has al- 



582 



SERMONS AN J) DISCOURSES. 



ready been liquidated ; that the Cross of Christ shelters 
Mankind from penal Inflictions. 

This figure of a " ransom" offered, and of a " scape- 
goat," laden with the iniquities of Mankind, and sent 
away with its obscene burden, " into the wilderness," 
require in application to the subject of this discourse, 
great caution and deep sobriety. They are of course 
liable to misconstruction, which on so grave a subject 
is to be greatly deprecated. A ransomed captive could 
hardly help complaining of ill usage, if he were still 

held as a prisoner'. If a scape-goat have borne away 
your sins into some wilderness, why do they still lie 
heavy on your soul ? 

Out of such false constructions grows the doctrine 
of "Imputation," so much sometimes insisted on. It is 

boldly applied to Mankind in their relation to the Sav- 
iour — to the Saviour in his relations to Mankind. 
Their sins are imputed to him — his righteousness is 
imputed to them ! With no sins of his own, he was 

(•rushed under the weight of theirs; with no righteous- 
ness of their own, they arc raised ' to the summit of 
purity and dignity, by his deserts! -Such inferences 
with all their tendencies and bearings, are glaringly 
inconsistent with the everlasting Proprieties — with the 
principles of Equity — with the ordinances of .Nature 
and the decrees of Heaven. 

For a teacher in the lessons he may inculcate to in- 
sist on character as the ground of condition is to lay him- 
self open to grave suspicion among those who magnify 

what they call the doctrine of "gratuitous sal vation." 
This they describe as altogether vital to any well- 
grounded hope of acceptance with the final Judge. 
From " the wrath to come," they assure us, we can 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



533 



obtain deliverance only through "the blood' 7 of the 
Saviour. On that, therefore, they bid us rely, simply, 
solely, fully. In any exertions we may make for the 
improvement and welfare of our Fellows, we may not 
with their consent imitate the example of the Saviour, 
in circumstances altogether similar. On one occasion, 
a "young man," distinguished for his wealth, ap- 
proached him with a grave and far-reaching problem. 
He demanded of the Saviour what "good thing" he 
should do, that he might " have eternal life." To this 
inquiry a reply was offered, direct, pointed and com- 
prehensive : "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the 
commandments." Here our obligations are commend 
ed as essentially vital in their bearings and tendencies. 
Obedience is described as the fountain of blessedness. 
The smiles of Heaven are won by loyalty. With this 
general assurance, plain and explicit as it certainly 
was, our inquirer was not satisfied. It did not meet 
his expectations. Duty-doing, he knew, was all very 
well. A cordial regard for the Divine authority, he 
could not deny, was fit, beneficent and beautiful. But 
might there not be some specific precept — some isolated 
duty of singular significance, to which our Saviour 
must be supposed to refer — which bore a special rela- 
tion to "eternal life"? This he urged the Saviour 
distinctly to indicate. "Which" of the command- 
ments must he keep in making provision for his future 
welfare? The obligations which bound him to his 
Fellows universally — to all mankind — the Saviour 
enumerated. He must maintain toward them, both 
negatively and affirmatively, the fraternal attitude. 
Their rights he must in no respect invade ; their wel- 
fare he must in every way cherish and promote. "Thou 



534 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



shaft do no murder ; thou slialt not commit adultery ; 
thou shalt not steal ; thou shalt not bear false witness ; 
honor thy Father and thy Mother; and, thou shalt 
love thy neighbor as thyself."' These injunctions were 
quite familiar to the thoughts of our inquirer. They 
presented a subject with which he had long been con- 
versant Nothing new — nothing for which he had oc- 
casion to visit a heavenly Teacher, had been suggested. 
He had always been philanthropic — had always been 
true to the claims which his fellow-men might fairly 
urge upon him. He was ready to retire from the great 
presence to which he had gained admission, self-com- 
placent, even triumphant. u All these things have I 
kept from my youth up : what lack I yet?" To this 
demand he received a response which flashed, lightning- 
like, upon his inner consciousness — which with a sword's 
point went to the heart of his heart. If you would be 
a Man among men — a Brother among your Mother's 
children — bring your wealth and resources, abundant 
and cherished as they are, into full subserviency to 
their welfare. Transmute H whatever thou hast" into 
nourishment for an enlarged and comprehensive phi- 
lanthropy. Lay it all out in raising Mankind, your- 
self with them and they with you, to the recognition 
and enjoyment of the priceless benefits which their 
birthright involves. In all this our Saviour had pre- 
sented, was presenting to our inquirer an example — 
thus did He himself, amidst his relations to Mankind, 
lay out his mighty powers and large resources. The 
great lesson which he here inculcated, he had fully and 
clearly embodied in his own history. He only re- 
quired others to do as he did, if they would be as he 
was — if they would partake of his deep-toned joys and 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



535 



rich blessedness. Thus, and thus only, could they 
" follow him" — thus, and thus only, " have treasure in 
the Heavens." The weight and worth of the grand con- 
clusion which our Saviour urged upon him, our in- 
quirer knew not how to gainsay or deny. He was 
deeply moved. Contending emotions struggled with- 
in him. But he could not persuade himself to yield 
to the convictions which were fastening themselves on 
his heart-strings : and so with tears he turned his back 
upon the Saviour — "went away sorrowful." "His 
great possessions" hung like a mill-stone around his 
neck — to sink him to the depths of selfishness and suf- 
fering. Now if I were in similar circumstances to imi- 
tate the Saviour in the position he thus assumed, and 
the lessons he thus inculcated, I should almost anywhere 
in what is called the sphere of Evangelical Christianity, 
lay myself open to the gravest suspicions. I should be 
charged with ignoring the characteristic features of the 
scheme of redemption — with making light of its grandly 
peculiar method of salvation — with exalting the Law 
above the Gospel — with a leaning to legalism, wholly 
inconsistent with the responsibilities and privileges of 
a Christian teacher — with fatally misleading those who 
might confide in my wisdom and fidelity. They would 
be loudly warned while I should be bitterly denounced 
— denounced as rashly relying where the welfare of 
mankind was most vitally concerned on something 
else than the atoning blood of the Saviour. 

The New Testament introduces to us an inspired 
Evangelist, full of wisdom, power and magnanimity. 
He looks us with calm earnestness in the face, and 
offers us instruction where our highest necessities are 
to be provided for. He condenses into one grand con- 



536 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



elusion the lessons he inculcates for our benefit. It 
impresses itself gratefully and permanently on our in- 
most spirits. " Blessed," he exclaims, "are they that 
do His commandments, that they may have right to 
the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates 
into the city !" How pointedly, peremptorily, tenderly 
is here described the condition on which we may rise 
to self-possession, inward harmony, deep and perma- 
nent repose ; rise to the enjoyment of the imperishable 
treasures which lie within the compass of our Human 
nature ! We must recognize the claims which high 
Heaven is continually urging home upon us — must 
bow reverently and gratefully to the Divine authority 
— must adjust ourselves promptly and resolutely to 
the arrangements which unerring Wisdom has intro- 
duced — must yield obedience to the divine requisitions 
— if we would reach the goal of our existence, and ap- 
propriate the large rewards, which there await us. 
They are " blessed" whoever, wherever they may be, 
" who keep His commandments." Our highest wel- 
fare is involved in obedience. This confers a " right 
to the tree of life." It is the key by which the " gates 
into the city" may readily and certainly be opened. 
Wielding this, one may walk all abroad, any where 
within the Divine dominions, free, erect, triumphant. 
He may pluck, unrebuked, the fruits which glow 
amidst the leaves of the trees of Paradise. So affirms 
the disciple who had long been cherished with very 
especial affection in the bosom of the Saviour. But 
let no man assume the attitude and utter the words of 
the "beloved disciple," who would enjoy the confi- 
dence of the religionists around him ! No such privi- 
lege will they award him. The Divine commands are 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



537 



well enough in their place. But they are not to be in- 
sisted on in our intercourse with those who are intent 
on being saved. Every body knows, we are assured, 
that his commands are impracticable. They may be 
admired ; they cannot be obeyed. The best that can 
be hoped for as the result of the most resolute attempt, 
is an all-pervading sense of our imbecility. We can 
get nothing from the Law but deep damnation. The 
blood of Christ must be our sole reliance. 

And then to exalt and magnify the provision for the 
general welfare thus insisted on, it is sometimes affirmed, 
that the Saviour was organically other than human ; that 
he rose far above other men not only in the office which 
was assigned him, but also in the nature he had inhe- 
rited. His structure was distinguished by elements al- 
together peculiar. The human in him was modified 
by something foreign and superior to it — by some- 
thing not easily described, to w hich the worth and effi- 
cacy of his blood are especially to be ascribed. On this 
point very especial stress is laid throughout the sphere 
of the prevalent religion. Orthodoxy is wakefully 
jealous here of the prerogatives which it affects to 
wield. To refuse here, no matter how modestly and 
meekly, to take the attitude it requires us to assume, 
and to utter the words it expects us to repeat, is to ex- 
pose ourselves to the harshest imputations. "We must 
be pronounced blind, headlong, contumacious, if we 
cannot receive with respect and confidence the dogmas 
on this subject, which it may zealously obtrude upon 
us. We must be, it alleges, reprobate now and damned 
hereafter, if we can hesitate to ascribe to the Saviour a 
nature mixed, compounded, anomalous, according to its 
theologic recipe ! — And yet the Book, which the self- 



538 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



same Orthodoxy bids us venerate as divinely inspired, 
plainly, pointedly, emphatically declares, that the Sav- 
iour "took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed 
of Abraham. Wherefore, in all things, it behoved him 
to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a 
merciful and faithful High-Priest in things pertaining 
to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the Peo- 
ple. For in that he hath suffered, being tempted, he 
is able to succor them that are tempted." Here the 
characteristic work to which our Saviour, as our Sav- 
iour, addressed himself, is graphically described. His 
labors and sufferings were vicarious and propitiatory. 
He opened the way in which reconciliation might be 
effected between the transgressors of the Law and the 
Soul of Legislation — in which they might be delivered 
from the domination of appetite and passion, and 
raised to the worth and dignity of cherished loyalty. 
The compassion and fidelity which are essential to the 
office of High- Priest, who was mediatorially to stand 
between God and Man, he manifested. He welcomed 
a painful and protracted discipline, through which he 
was fully qualified to offer sympathy and assistance to 
his exposed and suffering " Brethren." The force of 
" temptation" he had felt to the core of his heart. 
He was thus qualified " to succor them that are 
tempted." And as adapted to his high office — as re- 
quisite to his great work — he " was made in all things 
like unto his brethren" — had inherited the same nature 
entered on the same relations — welcomed the same 
responsibilities. He was a Man, true, wise, strong, 
among Men — identified with the Human Family as 
the head and Sovereign. All this, the fitness of things, 
the everlasting proprieties, the ordinances of Nature 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



539 



and the fixed arrangements of Heaven required. It 
" behoved" him to be what he was, if he would ac- 
complish what he undertook. 

The term "blood" so freely and so solemnly intro- 
duced in some of the passages which stand at the head 
of this discourse, is a bold and impressive symbol. Its 
meaning and application are sufficiently clear and cer- 
tain. In this case, it comprehensively describes the 
inflictions to which our Saviour was exposed — the suf- 
ferings he was called to endure. It refers directly and 
especially to the death of violence, which terminated 
his official career among the children of Adam — to the 
agonies of crucifixion, by which his great heart was 
broken. This was the consummation of his efforts in 
behalf of the Human Family. Within the compass of 
its meaning were of course crowded and condensed all 
the labors and trials and exposures of his all-significant 
life. These opened the way for his death, and im- 
parted to it its lofty, far-reaching and enduring import. 
These gave to it a worth altogether inestimable and in- 
conceivable. If these had in any respect and to any 
extent been otherwise than they were, his death would 
have been affected accordingly. His expiatory death 
crowned fitly, beautifully his all-beneficent life. They 
were most naturally, most intimately, most happily 
connected, the one with the other. Their mutual bear- 
ings upon, and relations to each other, we cannot study 
too earnestly or too gratefully. He consecrated his life 
to the general welfare, in effective labors as well as in 
vicarious sufferings. His whole history was written 
in his heart's blood upon the cross. His deadly suffer- 
ings proceeded from his agonizing efforts. We may 
here with the strongest emphasis warn our Fellows to 



540 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



beware of "putting asunder what God hath joined to- 
gether" — indissolubly, everlastingly "joined together." 

In a very memorable connection our Saviour de- 
scribes the basis and the standard of true greatness. 
His disciples were deeply interested in the subject, and 
had urged it on his attention in a way not very honor- 
able to them or grateful to him. Some of them seemed 
to be intent on preeminence among their Fellows, whom 
they displeased with the measures they employed to 
gratify their ambition. The Saviour at once employed 
the happiest method to reduce them all to sobriety and 
moderation. He referred them to the way in which 
what the heathen called greatness manifested itself — to 
the prerogatives it asserted and the privileges it arro- 
gated. Their "great men" were self-indulgent, exact- 
ing, oppressive. It was characteristic of them to play 
the tyrant — to domineer over such as submitted to their 
dictation. — But the Saviour forbade his Disciples to 
imitate them in their aims and aspirations : "So it 
shall not be among you." They were required to esti- 
mate greatness by a very different standard — to em- 
ploy quite other methods to acquire it — and to give it 
scope and exercise in ways leading off in an opposite 
direction. To be truly great, according to the Saviour, 
was to be broadly human — was to devote arm and 
soul to the general welfare — was to render effective 
service to our fellows in any of those ways in which 
the proper interests of Mankind could be subserved and 
promoted. He who best serves "his generation" is its 
greatest man. A grand instance and impressive illus- 
tration of all this, our Saviour afforded in his own his- 
tory. Thus he acquired and thus he manifested his 
unparalleled heroism. His place at the head of the 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



541 



Human Family, he did not take to impose his burdens 
on the shoulders of others — did not take for the sake 
of ease, affluence and self-indulgence. Far otherwise. 
He consecrated his powers and resources in effective 
service to the welfare of Mankind. For this he labored 
constantly and resolutely — for this he submitted to the 
deadliest sufferings. Thus he rose to the highest pitch 
of worth and dignity. Thus to restore his Fellows to 
the enjoyment of their natural prerogatives and privi- 
leges, he yielded up his thrice-precious life — in ex- 
hausting labors no less than in vicarious sufferings. 
" Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your 
minister ; and whosoever will be chief among you, let 
him be your servant. Even as the Son of Man came 
not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give 
his life a ransom for many." 

All this, whatever characterizes the history of the 
Saviour, I understand Him to set forth and impress 
upon us by the deeply touching term which now espe- 
cially demands our attention. It is all implied and re- 
ferred to in the blood, to which such a healing, saving 
efficacy is here ascribed. 

The occasion of the labors and sufferings which 
enter so vitally into the Saviour's history, should be 
diligently sought and carefully weighed. This is all 
the more requisite, as this whole subject is in the reli- 
gious world too generally studied and disposed of in 
an artificial light. The Pulpit often assures us, that a 
covenant was ratified between the Father and the Son 
far back among the ages of eternity, in which the Lat- 
ter pledged himself to assume human nature ; enter on 
the relations amidst which Mankind are placed, and 
submit to an ignominious death, to appease "the wrath 



542 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



of God" — to make atonement for "the sins of the 
world." Whatever in his great office he attempted — 
whatever he endured — this covenant prescribed and 
demanded The Divine Law had been violated, and 
the penalties with which the infinite Wisdom had 
armed it, must be inflicted. Otherwise the Divine 
veracity might be impeached, and the general welfare 
impaired. The punitive blows which rebellion de- 
served, fell on the head of loyalty. The Saviour most 
graciously threw himself between Justice and its vic- 
tims. With his heart's blood he paid the debt which 
the transgressor had incurred. This in accordance 
with the redemptive arrangements, which had been 
matured before the birth of Man. — Now under a just 
construction, some such conclusions may be admitted 
and ainrmed. But whatever may be technical and 
artificial should, on a subject of such intrinsic signifi- 
cance, of such vital and various bearings, be promptly 
and resolutely eschewed. The labors and sufferings 
of the Saviour are intrinsically and essentially — are as 
a matter of fact — apart from any thing foreign and 
factitious, replete with the highest meaning. Let them 
be studied, as other facts are studied in the history of 
mankind ; let their natural import be weighed, and 
we can hardly fail to receive upon our inmost selves 
the deepest, healthiest impression. Their high signi- 
ficance and salutary tendencies, are always for us re- 
duced, when we attempt to magnify the one or the 
other by the representations which the current theo- 
logy so officiously obtrudes on the general mind. 

The occasion of our Saviour's sufferings should be 
sought where it may easily and certainly be found — in 
the character by which he was distinguished amidst 



SERMONS AXD DISCOURSES. 



543 



the relations he sustained. He was surrounded on 
every hand, within and without the limits of the The- 
ocracy by selfish creatures — by the unprincipled, the 
profligate, the reckless — the slaves of appetite and pas- 
sion — by the avaricious, the ambitious, the sensual. 
The throne and the altar — things sacred and things 
secular — were under their domination. They im- 
pressed themselves, stamped their own features on the 
institutions, arrangements and usages of the commu- 
nities with which they were connected. They marked 
out the channel for the general sentiment to flow in — 
guiding, modifying and controlling its current. The 
multitude eagerly and loudly applauded, without dis- 
crimination or inquiry, any name which they com- 
mended to the general confidence ; and blackened and 
persecuted any name which they might assail, no matter 
how wantonly and wickedly. Themselves they im- 
posed on their blind and headlong Fellows as pro- 
foundly devoted to the general welfare — as warmly 
pious and broadly philanthropic — as wisely and effect- 
ively consecrated to all the vast and various interests, 
both of the Church and the State. And those whom 
they thus offered to bewilder and mislead and seduce, 
were all too ready to listen to their professions, to ad- 
mit their claims, to subserve their designs. Every one 
of them was forward to throw himself at the feet of 
these political and ecclesiastical jugglers, as their will- 
ing and convenient tool ; to be wielded by them as 
their passions or their caprices might dictate. He was 
at their service to bark and bite, to worry and devour 
whenever, wherever and however they might require. 
It was sport for him to apply the burning fagot to 
whomsoever they might stigmatize as a heretic or a 



544 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



traitor. So that, while the summit and the bottom of 
Society were alike atheistic and inhuman, they could 
confidently reckon on each other's countenance and 
support in every thing characteristic which the one or 
the other might attempt — in all the assaults which the 
one or the other might make on any name which 
might assert and maintain the Divine authority. 

Now this is just what our Saviour did from the 
manger to the Cross — the object to which he devoted 
himself unceasingly, resolutely, wisely, effectively — 
bringing into full contribution to this great design the 
loftiest enterprise, the most vigorous powers, the high- 
est attainments. He was most profoundly intent on 
establishing every where amidst the institutions, ar- 
rangements, designs and activities of the Human 
Family, the sovereignty of Truth, Order and Justice — 
on vindicating on all occasions and for every purpose, 
the prerogatives of God and the rights of man : and 
this by substantial deeds as well as by living words. 
Here, no exigency was stern enough — no necessity 
sufficiently pressing, to extort from him the least re- 
laxation, the slightest indulgence, the most trifling 
compromise. With him, God was God — to be recog- 
nized, worshipped, served characteristically ; man was 
man, to be evermore treated in all respects according 
to the nature he had inherited and the relations he sus- 
tained. The lessons the Saviour taught, and the ex- 
amples he presented, require us — require all men to be 
filial in the presence of God, and fraternal in their in- 
tercourse with their Fellows. And this not more in 
their private activity than in constructing and support- 
ing society under whatever modification and descrip- 
tion. The Divine authority, according to him, was to 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



545 



be all-pervading and all-controlling in the several 
spheres of commerce, politics and religion. "We were 
to worship God as profoundly and warmly in wielding 
the implements of productive industry — in exchang- 
ing values at the market — in selecting rulers and dis- 
tributing offices as in singing hymns or offering prayers. 
This high ground he occupied and commended with a 
promptitude, an address, a decision which could not 
fail to arrest the attention and impress the minds of 
those to whom he might gain access. He " spake with 
an authority" which none could well gainsay or effect- 
ually resist. — Of course, he was regarded as a power- 
fully disturbing force, by the boasted conservatists 
around him, who were intent on keeping things as they 
were, that their own importance might in no way be 
reduced. They could not maintain their hold on the 
multitude unless his influence could be counteracted. 
They were, therefore, eagerly, desperately intent on 
producing this result. X ow they ply him with cun- 
ning and now they assail him with violence. On va- 
rious occasions they suggest difficulties, urge inquiries, 
raise objections, to diminish or neutralize the impres- 
sions which, as a Teacher, he was evidently making. 
They interrupt him. They contradict him. They 
ridicule or reproach him. They call him " hard names." 
They hold him up to suspicion. They represent his 
presence and his activity as undermining the founda- 
tions of human society. They describe him as a dan- 
gerous man, who could be satisfied with nothing less 
than the subversion of the church and the state — who 
was bent on overturning the throne and the altar. 
They insinuated themselves into the prejudices of the 
multitude as the accredited messengers of Heaven — the 



546 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



ministers of the Most High. To expose and condemn 
them, they persuaded their heedless, besotted adherents, 
must be a high-handed misdemeanor — a blood-red 
crime. And as Jesus was daily and openly occupied 
with this veiy thing, he was generally regarded and 
pronounced worthy of pointed reprehension and heavy 
punishment. He was, therefore, seized, dragged away 
to a corrupt tribunal, condemned and crucified. Of 
all this, we find the occasion in his integrity, consist- 
ency and fidelity — in his deep-toned Loyalty and all- 
pervading Philanthropy. The position which, as 
suited to his powers and his habits, Heaven had as- 
signed him, he honored at the expense of heart-break- 
ing agonies. With him any thing, even the deadly 
Cross w r as better than a cowardly refusal to respond to 
the demands of Truth and Duty. Hence the embar- 
rassments which overtook him — the sufferings which 
overwhelmed him. 

In the text a " cleansing" efficacy is ascribed to the 
blood of the Saviour as "the Son" of God. The 
words which the Apostle here employs were admirably 
chosen. He was preeminently the Son. This was his 
distinctive character. How could he, consistently with 
himself, be any thing else than singularly filial ? 
And this he was in every way, at all times, and in the 
largest measure. This was the all-healthful, all-germ- 
inative root, whence grew his whole history. This 
was the basis to which the doctrines he taught were 
adjusted — this was the origin of the achievements by 
which his career was distinguished. As filial, he re 
cognized — as filial, he proclaimed — as filial, he asserted 
the Divine authority. His fraternal regard for man- 
kind grew out of his filial regard for the universal 



SEKM0NS AND DISCOURSES. 



547 



Father. His sufferings on the Cross he encountered 
and endured in manifesting himself as the Son of God. 
This he could not be consistently and fully without 
exposing himself to the deadly hostility of the multi- 
tude which rejected and renounced the Father — which 
rudely and ruthlessly trampled on every thing Pa- 
ternal to which they might have access. Of course, 
the multitude would hate and spurn and attack the 
Filial wherever and however it might manifest itself. 
And as in Jesus it expressed itself most royally — 
clearly, decisively, impressively — expressed itself in 
the most sinewy words and in the most effective deeds 
— as it asserted its claims on the homage and confidence 
and practice of mankind most authoritatively, the ma- 
jority might be expected to assail Jesus with a malig- 
nity singularly intense. The pangs which broke his 
heart — the deadly agonies which tortured his life away, 
were inflicted on him as the Son of God — as honoring 
the relations which bound him to the Paternal Soul. 
Hence the unutterable significancy of his sufferings. 
And their worth was not only inestimable — it was also 
intrinsic and essential. They were a most lofty and 
commanding expression of the truest, deepest loyalty. 
They were the price of integrity, the most compre- 
hensive and unbending. In them the warmest piety 
and the broadest philanthropy were manifested. They 
are the substance, the completion, the index of his 
history. 

And so our Saviour represents the matter. His 
death was the appropriate consummation of his life. 
The one was involved in — was demanded by the other. 
Given any where and at any time among the children 
of Adam such a life, and they will give you back such 



513 



SERMONS AM) DISCOURSES. 



a death. Upon such a loyalty as the Saviour main- 
tained, the majority blindly impressed a fitting seal — 
the richest, the best blood that ever gushed from the 
human heart. In one thing they agreed with him and 
he with them, that such a character as he maintained 
was worthy of a most extraordinary exit. In fasten- 
ing him to the Cross they pronounced him worthy of 
death ; in submitting to the Cross, he proclaimed him- 
self worth dying for. Thus he was beautifully, grandly 
himself as well in death as in life. Hence he demands : 

Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things, 
and to enter into his glory ? ?? To reach a consumma- 
tion worthv of his career ? 

Such a manifestation of the filial temper — of a loyal 
spirit — of integrity, consistency and fidelity — of wis- 
dom, strength, magnanimity — of yearning piety and 
broad philanthropy, could not but have a most power- 
ful bearing — could not but exert a most happy influence 
upon both the heavens and the earth — upon both God 
and mankind. AVe may not suppose, as some thought- 
lessly and idly talk, that the Father is above the reach 
of such impressions as worth and beauty and dignity 
are adapted to make. He is absolutely, grandly, 
royally paternal. This character in him is carried up- 
ward to the very highest pitch of intensity and strength 
— is itself in the largest measure and highest degree in 
every respect and under every bearing. He must, then, 
be very especially alive to whatever may, as well as to 
whatever may not respond to this in all those who are 
capable of rendering him homage and obedience. How 
can the Filial fail, wherever and however manifested, 
to awaken within him a complacency and delight cor- 
responding with its strength and purity, and worthy 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



519 



of his powers and position ? Must not the labors and 
sufferings of the Saviour, as an expression of his un- 
yielding, unconquerable regard for the Divine authority 
be fitly estimated by the Eternal Mind — make there 
just the impression which Truth requires ? Must not 
the all-just God have rendered to them exactly and 
fully their natural due — respect for their worth and 
love for their beauty ? 11 Therefore," our Saviour ex- 
claims, " therefore doth my Father love because I lay 
down my life, that I might take it again ;" a remark- 
able declaration, well worthy of earnest, grateful study. 
The magnanimity, generosity, high-souled philanthropy 
which were manifested in the labors and sufferings of 
the Saviour, filled the Father's heart with the truest, 
tenderest love — a love which embraced the nature 
which the Saviour inherited. The Humanity which 
he royally represented, he thus commended to the 
thoughts and affections — to the deep complacency and 
warm admiration of all Heaven. He raised it thus to 
the very highest pitch of interest there — commending 
it thus to such sympathy and aid as its full redemption 
might require. 

To the subject under this bearing, the Apostle John, 
I think, refers in describing the Saviour as our " advo- 
cate with the Father," and as " the propitiation for our 
sins" and the sins of mankind. His life and death 
were a most powerful plea in behalf of all whom he 
represented in the Divine presence. Identified with 
them as their head, he could not but be their advocate 
— could not but exert on their behalf a propitiatory 
influence. His whole history was broadly, deeply, 
grandly human, and set every thing human in a most 
attractive light. He represented it as worthy of the 



550 



SERMONS AND DISCOUKSES. 



most heroic efforts and the most intense sufferings, by 
himself enduring the one and making the other, and 
all this in the presence of Him who was all-alive to 
the influences thus exerted. Here, then, was interces- 
sion on our behalf not only of the most impressive 
words, but also of deeds the most significant and 
weighty. 

Moreover, the bearing of what the Saviour did and 
endured in his great mission directly upon mankind, 
deserves to be most carefully considered and deeply 
pondered. His history is well adapted to arouse and 
excite. It is fitted to arrest and to fix attention. It 
brings us into the presence of unrivalled greatness and 
unmeasured grandeur. It presents a subject every 
way extraordinary — and extraordinary in a line along 
which it might be natural for us to move. For it is 
human worth, human grandeur, human dignity, which 
we are here encouraged to contemplate and to study. 
Xow, there is nothing naturally so deeply interesting 
to man as man. We feel, when brought into his pre- 
sence, that he is akin to us — the offspring of our own 
mother — whose blood was derived from the same foun- 
tain as ours, and who was nourished at the same breast 
as ourselves. He is ourselves projected — ourselves ad- 
dressing us and exerting himself in our presence. And 
if he be greatly superior to us in native endowments 
and acquired resources — in his aims, methods, exertions 
and achievements — if he be far more intensely, vigor- 
ously, comprehensively human, rising far above us as 
a man, why, then, he is more ourselves than we ourselves 
can claim to be. All the elements of my personality, 
which are the secret of my worth and the foundation 
and substance of my history— which make me to my- 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



551 



self an object of interest and respect and love, I find 
intensified in him. Whatever in myself makes me as 
myself properly dear to myself, manifests itself in him 
in larger measure and under a more attractive aspect. 
Why should not his presence arouse and impress me 
accordingly ? 

The bearing of such hints, so simple and elementary, 
on our relations to the Saviour, must be obvious 
enough. In him, whatever distinctly characterizes our 
humanity was raised to the loftiest height of truth, 
worth, beauty and dignity. He was emphatically the 
Man — most humanly great and greatly human. Every 
manifestation of himself was a powerful appeal to 
every thing human in us — to each of our heart-strings, 
however deep and latent — to every thing vital in our 
complicated structure. How could we fail to be deeply 
affected, greatly excited, thoroughly aroused ? 

Whoever may be thus moved, may well be expected 
to make the nature thus exercised and manifested the 
subject of profound thought, earnest inquiry, patient 
study. Its constructive principles and natural rela- 
tions — its powers and responsibilities — its prerogatives, 
privileges and prospects, he could hardly fail diligently, 
resolutely and reverently to investigate. To this great 
subject he would feel impelled to address himself in 
the best use of whatever powers he might wield — of 
whatever resources he might command. — Now, it was 
Human nature which furnished the basis for all the 
achievements and for all the sufferings which distin- 
guished so greatly the Saviour's history — for every 
thing significant and illustrious in his official career. 
And that is the very nature which we ourselves have 
inherited — which is for every man the soul and sub- 



552 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



stance of his own personality — the very pith and 
essence of his self-hood. Every man, as a man, is dis- 
tinguished by the same constructive principles as en- 
tered into the Saviour, constitutionally and vitally. 
To these principles the Saviour was in every respect, 
and in the highest degree, true and loyal. His history 
furnishes for me a mirror, in luhieh I am reflected upon 
myself — in which I may study myself as human to the 
greatest advantage and with the highest results. What 
I ought to attempt, and what I might achieve — to 
what heights of worth and dignity and blessedness I 
might ascend, is here most clearly and certainly and 
impressively set forth. What stirring encouragements 
are here afforded to the loftiest aims — the most mag- 
nanimous endeavors — to aspirations and exertions alto- 
gether heroic ! With what resolution, hope and cour- 
age may I not enter on the grandest designs — may I 
not apply myself to the most arduous undertakings — 
may I not grapple with difficulties the most compli- 
cated and formidable ! And shall I not thus be brought 
into deep sympathy and full cooperation with the Head 
of the Human Family — with him who most royally 
represents our common Humanity — who most fitly 
sways the sceptre over every thing growing naturally 
out of the nature of mankind, and who offers to save 
us by bringing us into the most intimate union and 
fellowship with himself ? How can I help subserving 
the designs to which he was consecrated — engaging in 
the work with which he was occupied — employing the 
methods which he preferred — welcoming such toils and 
trials — such labors and sufferings as he was called to 
encounter ? And shall I not thus avail myself of his 
presence and powers and resources — of every thing 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



553 



redemptive in his character and history ? Thus shall 
I not be elevated to the full appropriation and enjoy- 
ment of the priceless benefits which belong to my 
birthright ? Thus shall I not exert upon my Fellows 
an influence truly and highly regenerative — adapted to 
raise them to self-possession — to their own proper place 
and office amidst the Divine arrangements and among 
loyal souls ? Thus shall I not so let my light shine 
among men, that they may see my good works and 
glorify the Father who is in heaven ? 

How intimately his disciples are united to — are iden- 
tified with the Saviour, may be inferred from a memor- 
able declaration of the Apostle Paul. In writing to 
his Colossian brethren, he thus delivers himself: "I 
now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that 
which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh 
for his body's sake, which is the Church." A bold 
and impressive utterance, every way instructive. How 
fully must he not have entered into the designs of the 
Saviour ! How warmly must he not have approved 
of the methods which his Master employed ! How 
zealously must he not have seconded the motions 
which the Saviour proposed ! He labored and suffered 
according to the same principles and to promote the 
same objects. He joined the Saviour in exerting vica- 
rious influences for the benefit of mankind. He threw 
himself " arm and soul" into the sublime enterprise 
with which the Saviour was occupied. He tried the 
efficacy of the atoning sacrifice by himself welcoming 
the Cross. He thus appropriated the benefits which 
the Saviour visited the Human Family to place within 
their reach. And must we not tread in his footprints 
if we would share in his reward ? 
24 



554 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



In providing for the welfare of mankind, however 
generously and fully, the Saviour is far enough from 
attempting to relax the natural obligations which bind 
them to the Eternal Throne. He would sooner assist 
in reducing the Universe to ruin. According to him, 
for any religious teacher thus to exert himself — to re- 
duce in his inculcations in any respect and for any 
purpose the demands of the Divine Law, would be to 
exclude himself from Heaven. The law he describes 
most pointedly and warmly as the very basis to which, 
in promoting our welfare, we are to adjust ourselves — 
on which we are to build ourselves up in our hopes of 
heaven. To this he refers the inquirer who very 
gravely demanded by what method he might secure 
eternal life. " Keep the commandments," was the all- 
luminous, all-significant response. Such of these as 
grow out of our social relations, he enumerated and 
reduced to a brief and comprehensive summary ; add- 
ing a most fresh and pithy interpretation. And all 
this he sent home to the business and bosom of the in- 
quirer so searchingly as to send him from his presence 
in embarrassment and tears. 

Whatever might belong to the Law-giver, and what- 
ever might be characteristic of the Saviour, were fitly 
and beautifully united in the great Nazarene. He was 
most magnanimously intent on restoring man to his 
natural worth and dignity and blessedness. To achieve 
this, he counted no labors too arduous — no sufferings 
too intense. To this design he devoted arm and soul — 
consecrated all his powers and all his resources. He 
offered to save the Human Family. Accordingly he 
insisted most earnestly and authoritatively upon obe- 
dience to the Divine Law, as altogether essential to our 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 555 

improvement and welfare. As it is the foundation of 
our existence — the substance of our personality, our 
life and health — our strength and success must depend 
on our adjusting ourselves to its demands. It is the 
constructive Law of the nature we have inherited. 
How can we be ourselves or enjoy ourselves if we 
trample upon its requisitions ? How can we be saved 
in opposition to the organic Principles of our own per- 
sonality — in conflict with the essential elements of our 
self-hood ? The Saviour offers to enrich us with all 
the privileges — to arm us with all the prerogatives 
" of the sons of God," by cheering and encouraging 
and aiding us, by his life and by his death, in the ex- 
ercise of the filial temper — in cherishing and manifest- 
ing the spirit of loyalty. His heroic labors and suffer- 
ings are a most touching and controlling expression of 
his regard for the Divine authority. How can we 
"come to him" for life — how avail ourselves of the re- 
sults of his lofty mission while we refuse to live as he 
lived and suffer as he suffered ? If the Divine Law 
was for him the fountain of life and joy, where else, 
as his disciples, can we fitly and effectively betake our- 
selves in providing for our welfare ? The honors of 
the Law are consummated in the blood of the Cross. 
To be cleansed in the one, and to be obedient to the 
other, are one and the same result. 

Thus the magnanimity, the generosity, the broad 
and comprehensive philanthropy of the Saviour have 
their origin in a deep-toned and all-pervading loyalty — 
in a most cordial and effective regard for the Divine 
authority. His overflowing and tender mercy gushes 
from the heart of his integrity and fidelity'. His 
yearning compassion springs from his unbending, un- 



556 



SERMONS AND DISCOURSES. 



compromising adherence to truth and justice. The 
Grospel is a full and authoritative assertion of the de- 
mands of the Law. To attempt in any way and for 
any purpose to magnify the former at the expense of 
the latter is the height of absurdity ! Let us. beware ! 
If we venture to trample on our natural obligations, 
we must go elsewhere for countenance and protection 
than to the Messiah. He is indeed " mighty to save" 
— to " save to the uttermost." But " salvation" consists 
in our returning to our allegiance — in our adjusting 
ourselves to the Divine arrangements — in bowing to 
the authority of Him " in whom we live and move and 
have our being" — in our gratefully and obediently sub- 
serving his designs. The Divine Law is its basis. If 
we would share in the triumphs and glories of Christ, 
we must identify ourselves with him in honoring the 
requisitions of the Eternal Throne at whatever ex- 
pense of labor and suffering. 

And why should we hesitate to subserve his cher- 
ished designs by employing the well-selected methods 
which he commends ? Is he not most worthy of our 
confidence and homage ? Does he not offer us the 
choicest benefits on the best terms — on conditions 
every way worthy of our acceptance ? Why should 
we hesitate ? Oh ! let us listen to his voice — let us 
" come to him" — let us cherish his spirit and imitate 
his example, that we may avail ourselves of his royal 
presence and redeeming power !